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Fungal Diversity

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 71–89 | Cite as

The endophytic mycobiota of Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Elena García
  • Ángela Alonso
  • Gonzalo Platas
  • Soledad Sacristán
Article

Abstract

Fungal endophytes are receiving increasing attention as resources to improve crop production and ecosystem management. However, the biology and ecological significance of these symbionts remains poorly understood, due to a lack of model systems for more efficient research. In this work, we have analyzed the culturable endophytic mycobiota associated, in the wild, with leaves and siliques of the model plant A. thaliana. We have studied the effect of biotic and abiotic factors in the frequency of fungal endophytes in plant specimens, and in the species composition of the endophytic community. Our results indicate that the frequency of Arabidopsis plants hosting endophytes depends on the time of the year and the phenological stage of the plant, and that the probability of endophyte colonization increases as the life cycle of the plant progresses. The diversity of the endophytic assemblages of natural A. thaliana populations was high, and precipitation and temperature were the two main factors determining the diversity and species composition of the communities. We propose A. thaliana and its endophytes as a model system for an integral approach to the principles governing the endophytic lifestyle, taking advantage of the molecular tools and the abundant knowledge accessible from the host plant.

Keywords

Endophyte Mycobiota Arabidopsis Wild populations Ecology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Drs. Carlos Alonso-Blanco and Fernando García-Arenal for showing us the localization of the wild populations of A. thaliana. We also thank Drs. Fernando García-Arenal, and Mª Ángeles Ayllón, and an anonymous reviewer, for critical review and suggestions for improving the manuscript. Mª Ángeles Portal provided excellent technical assistance. Meteorological data have been gently provided by the Spanish Metereology Agency (AEMET). This work was funded by grants CAM CCG07-UPM/GEN-1899 of DGUI of Comunidad de Madrid and UPM and AGL2008-00818 of Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia of the Spanish Government to Soledad Sacristán.

Supplementary material

13225_2012_219_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (176 kb)
Online Resource 1 Bayesian consensus tree of the ITS1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2 sequence region of 120 fungal endophytic isolates of the different populations of A. thaliana. Only bootstrap values above 80 are shown. (PDF 175 kb)

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Copyright information

© Mushroom Research Foundation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena García
    • 1
  • Ángela Alonso
    • 2
  • Gonzalo Platas
    • 3
  • Soledad Sacristán
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (UPM-INIA) and E.T.S.I. AgrónomosUniversidad Politécnica de Madrid, Campus de MontegancedoMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biotecnología, E.T.S.I. AgrónomosUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Fundación Centro de Excelencia en Investigación de Medicamentos Innovadores en Andalucía MEDINAParque Tecnológico de las Ciencias de la Salud de GranadaArmillaSpain

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