Discovering Metal-Tolerant Endophytic Fungi from the Phytoremediator Plant Phragmites
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Fifteen endophytic isolates were recovered from the phytoremediator plant Phragmites. Phylogenetic analysis revealed they were primarily from the class Sordariomycetes and Dothiodiomycetes. Most of the endophytes in Sordariomycetes were from the orders Diaporthales (six isolates, e.g., Diaporthe, Phomopsis), Hypocreales (two isolates, e.g., Gliomastix, Trichoderma), and Xylariales (one isolate, e.g., Arthrinium), while members from Dothideomycetes were from the order Pleosporales (six isolates, e.g., Bipolaris, Curvularia, Microsphaeropsis, Saccharicola). The endophytes demonstrated varying responses to the metals (Al3+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Pb2+, and Cd2+) and concentrations (10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg L−1) tested, with isolates of Dothideomycetes predominantly more tolerable to metals (80–97% tolerance) than Sordariomycetes (73–90% tolerance). Pb2+ was the least harmful towards the endophytes, while Al3+ appeared to be highly toxic with mean tolerable range (TR) of > 200 and 25–50 mg L−1, respectively. Endophytes thriving in toxic metals may further be applied for biocontrol, bioremediation, or growth-promoting purposes in metal-contaminated areas.
KeywordsEndophytes Metal tolerance Phragmites Phylogenetic analysis Phytoremediator
The authors are grateful to Aw Yoong Kit for his guidance in constructing the phylogenetic tree.
This work is conducted using facilities by Monash University Malaysia. The first author is also a recipient of the PhD scholarship by Monash University Malaysia.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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