Fungal Diversity

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 79–86 | Cite as

Diversity and cold adaptation of endophytic fungi from five dominant plant species collected from the Baima Snow Mountain, Southwest China

  • Hai-Yan Li
  • Mi Shen
  • Zuo-Ping Zhou
  • Tao Li
  • Yun-lin Wei
  • Lian-bing Lin


The diversity and cold adaptation of endophytic fungi associated with five dominant plant species collected from the Baima Snow Mountain (altitude 4,000–4,300 m), Southwest China, were investigated. A total of 604 culturable endophytic fungi were isolated from 800 stems and leaf segments. The colonization rate of endophytic fungi in the five plant species ranged from 54% to 91%, and the colonization rate of endophytic fungi in the stems was significantly higher (87%) than that in the leaves (67%) (X ∼ 2 = 45.172, P < 0.001, chi-squared test). Based on the morphological characteristics and the ITS sequence analysis, the isolates were identified to 43 taxa, of which Cephalosporium, Sirococcus, Penicillium and Aspergillus were the dominant genera, and their relative frequencies were 14.06%, 12.58%, 9.44% and 7.95%, respectively. The Shannon-Weiner diversity indices and the Sorenson’s coefficient similarity indices of the endophytic fungi from the five plant species ranged from 1.25 to 2.70 and 0.53 to 0.67, respectively. Growth temperature tests indicated that 75% of the isolates from the Baima Snow Mountain were psychrotrophs and 14% were the transitional type between psychrotrophs and mesophiles, whereas all of the isolates from the Yuanjiang Dry-hot Valley were mesophiles, which suggested that the endophytes from the Baima Snow Mountain possess a remarkable ability to adapt to cold environments.


Alpine forest Cold environment Endophyte Sirococcus Psychrotrophs 



This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Yunnan Province and the Science Foundation of Yunnan Educational Committee (2011Y381). The authors thank to Prof. Zhiwei Zhao for plant identification.


  1. Arnold AE (2007) Understanding the diversity of foliar endophytic fungi: progress, challenges, and frontiers. Fungal Biol Rev 21:51–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold AE (2008) Endophytic fungi: hidden components of tropical community ecology. In: Carson WP, Schnitzer SA (eds) Tropical forest community ecology. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp 254–271Google Scholar
  3. Arnold AE, Lutzoni AF (2007) Diversity and host range of foliar fungal endophytes: are tropical leaves biodiversity hotspots? Ecology 88:541–549PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arnold AE, Maynard Z, Gilbert GS, Coley PD, Kursar TA (2000) Are tropical fungal endophytes hyperdiverse? Ecol Lett 3:267–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bacon C, Palencia E (2010) Production of mycotoxins by members of the Aspergillus section Nigri isolated from peanuts and maize in the United States. Phytopathology 100:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnett HL, Hunter BB (1987) Illustrated genera of imperfect fungi. Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Brosi GB (2011) The Response of tall fescue and its fungal endophyte to climate change. Masters Theses. Paper 126.
  8. Collado J, Platas G, González I, Peláez F (1999) Geographical and seasonal influences on the distribution of fungal endophytes in Quercus ilex. New Phytol 144:525–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Collado J, Platas G, Peláez F (2000) Host specificity in fungal endophytic populations of Quercus ilex and Quercus faginea from central Spain. Nova Hedwig 71:421–430Google Scholar
  10. D’Amico S, Collins T, Marx JC, Feller G, Gerday C (2006) Psychrophilic microorganisms: challenges for life. EMBO Rep 7:385–389PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ellis MB (1988) Dematiaceous hyphomycetes. International Mycological Institute, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY, UKGoogle Scholar
  12. Errasti A, Carmarán CC, Novas MV (2010) Diversity and significance of fungal endophytes from living stems of naturalized trees from Argentina. Fungal Divers 41:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gazis R, Rehner S, Chaverri P (2011) Species delimitation in fungal endophyte diversity studies and its implications in ecological and biogeographic inferences. Mol Ecol. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05110.x
  14. Ghimire SR, Charlton ND, Bell JD, Krishnamurthy YL, Craven KD (2011) Biodiversity of fungal endophyte communities inhabiting switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) growing in the native tallgrass prairie of northern Oklahoma. Fungal Divers 47:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gong LJ, Guo SX (2009) Endophytic fungi from Dracaena cambodiana and Aquilaria sinensis and their antimicrobial activity. Afr J Biotechnol 8:731–736Google Scholar
  16. Hashizume Y, Fukuda K, Sahashi N (2010) Effects of summer temperature on fungal endophyte assemblages in Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) leaves in pure beach stands. Botany 88:266–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hoffman MT, Arnold AE (2008) Geographic locality and host identity shape fungal endophyte communities in cupressaceous trees. Mycol Res 12:331–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hyde KD, Soytong K (2008) The fungal endophyte dilemma. Fungal Divers 33:163–173Google Scholar
  19. Ko Ko TW, Stephenson SL, Bahkali AH, Hyde KD (2011) From morphology to molecular biology: can we use sequence data to identify fungal endophytes? Fungal Divers 50:113–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li WC, Zhou J, Guo SY, Guo LD (2007) Endophytic fungi associated with lichens in Baihua mountain of Beijing, China. Fungal Divers 25:69–80Google Scholar
  21. Li HY, Zhao CA, Liu CJ, Xu XF (2010) Endophytic fungi diversity of aquatic/riparian plants and their antifungal activity in vitro. J Microbiol 48:1–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Li HY, Li DW, He CM, Zhou ZP, Mei T, Xu HM (2011) Diversity and heavy metal tolerance of endophytic fungi from six dominant plant species in a Pb-Zn mine wasteland in China. Fungal Ecol. doi: 10.1016/j.funeco.2011.06.002
  23. Lv Y, Zhang F, Chen J, Cui J, Xing Y, Li X, Guo S (2010) Diversity and antimicrobial activity of endophytic fungi associated with the alpine plant Saussurea involucrate. Biol Pharm Bull 33:1300–1306PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Margesin R, Miteva V (2011) Diversity and ecology of psychrophilic microorganisms. Res Microbiol 162:346–361PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Morita RY (1975) Psychrophilic bacteria. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 39:144–167Google Scholar
  26. Morrison-Gardiner S (2002) Dominant fungi from Australian coral reefs. Fungal Divers 9:105–121Google Scholar
  27. Naik BS, Shashikala J, Krishnamurthy YL (2009) Study on the diversity of endophytic communities from rice (Oryza sativa L.) and their antagonistic activities in vitro. Microbiol Res 164:290–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Novas MV, Collantes M, Cabral D (2007) Environmental effects on grass-endophyte associations in the harsh conditions of south Patagonia. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 61:164–173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Osono T, Hagiwara Y, Masuya H (2011) Effects of temperature and litter type on fungal growth and decomposition of leaf litter. Mycoscience. doi: 10.1007/s10267-011-0112-9
  30. Purahong W, Hyde KD (2011) Effects of fungal endophytes on grass and non-grass litter decomposition rates. Fungal Divers 47:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rivera-Orduña F, Suarez-Sanchez R, Flores-Bustamante Z, Gracida-Rodriguez J, Flores-Cotera L (2011) Diversity of endophytic fungi of Taxus globosa (Mexican yew). Fungal Divers 47:65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rodriguez RJ, White JF, Arnold AE, Redman RS (2009) Fungal endophytes: diversity and functional roles. New Phytol 182:314–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rosa LH, Vaz AB, Caligiorne RB, Campolina S, Rosa CA (2009) Endophytic fungi associated with the Antarctic grass Deschampsia antarctica Desv. (Poaceae). Polar Biol 32:161–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rossman AY, Castlebury LA, Farr DF, Stanosz GR (2008) Sirococcus conigenus, Sirococcus piceicola sp. nov. and Sirococcus tsugae sp. nov. on conifers: anamorphic fungi in the Gnomoniaceae, Diaporthales. Forest Pathol 38:47–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Saikkonen K, Wäli P, Helander M, Faeth SH (2004) Evolution of endophyte-plant symbioses. Trends Plant Sci 9:275–280PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Saikkonen K, Saari S, Helander M (2010) Defensive mutualism between plants and endophytic fungi? Fungal Divers 41:101–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Shannon CE, Weiner W (1963) The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illionis Press, UrbanaGoogle Scholar
  38. Su YY, Guo LD, Hyde KD (2010) Response of endophytic fungi of Stipa grandis to experimental plant function group removal in Inner Mongolia steppe, China. Fungal Divers 43:93–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sun X, Guo LD, Hyde KD (2011) Community composition of endophytic fungi in Acer truncatum and their role in decomposition. Fungal Divers 47:85–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Suryanarayanan TS, Murali TS, Thirunavukkarasu N, Govinda Rajulu MB, Venkatesan G, Sukumar R (2011) Endophytic fungal communities in woody perennials of three tropical forest types of the Western Ghats, southern India. Biodivers Conserv 20:913–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sutton BC (1980) The coelomycetes. Fungi imperfecti with P ycnidia, acervuli and stromata. Commonwealth Mycological Institute, KewGoogle Scholar
  42. Thomas-Hall SR, Turchetti B, Buzzini P, Branda E, Boekhout T, Theelen B, Watson K (2010) Cold-adapted yeasts from Antarctica and the Italian Alps—description of three novel species: Mrakia robertii sp. nov., Mrakia blollopis sp. nov. and Mrakiella niccombsii sp. nov. Extremophiles 14:47–59PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vega F, Simpkins A, Aime M, Posada F, Peterson S, Rehner S, Infante F, Castillo A, Arnold AE (2010) Fungal endophyte diversity in coffee plants from Colombia, Hawai’i, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Fungal Ecol 3:122–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yuan Z, Zhang C, Lin F, Kubicek CP (2010) Identity, diversity, and molecular phylogeny of the endophytic mycobiota in the roots of rare wild rice (Oryza granulate) from a nature reserve in Yunnan, China. Appl Environ Microbiol 76:1642–1652PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Yuan ZL, Rao LB, Chen YC, Zhang CL, Wu YG (2011) From pattern to process: species and functional diversity in fungal endophytes of Abies beshanzuensis. Fungal Biol 115:197–213PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang Q, Luo P, Zhang Y, Shi F, Yi S, Wu N (2008) Ecological characteristics of Abies georgei population at timberline on the north-facing slope of Baima Snow Mountain, Southwest China. Acta Ecol Sin 28:129–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Mushroom Research Foundation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hai-Yan Li
    • 1
  • Mi Shen
    • 1
  • Zuo-Ping Zhou
    • 1
  • Tao Li
    • 2
  • Yun-lin Wei
    • 1
  • Lian-bing Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Life Sciences and TechnologyKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of BioresourcesYunnan UniversityKunmingChina

Personalised recommendations