The local environment determines the assembly of root endophytic fungi at a continental scale.


:Root endophytic fungi are found in a great variety of plants and ecosystems, but the ecological drivers of their biogeographic distribution are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the occurrence of root endophytes in the non-mycorrhizal plant genus Microthlaspi, and the effect of environmental factors and geographic distance in structuring their communities at a continental scale. We sampled 52 plant populations across the northern Mediterranean and central Europe and used a cultivation approach to study their endophytic communities. Cultivation of roots yielded 2601 isolates, which were grouped into 296 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) by internal transcribed spacer sequencing of 1998 representative colonies. Climatic and spatial factors were the best descriptors of the structure of endophytic communities, outweighing soil characteristics, host genotype and geographical distance. OTU richness was negatively affected by precipitation, and the composition of communities followed latitudinal gradients of precipitation and temperature. Only six widespread OTUs belonging to the orders Pleosporales, Hypocreales and Helotiales represented about 50% of all isolates. Assessments of their individual distribution revealed particular ecological preferences or a cosmopolitan occurrence. Our findings support a strong influence of the local environment in determining root endophytic communities, and show a different niche occupancy by individual endophytes.


Environ Microbiol


Glynou K,Ali T,Buch AK,Haghi Kia S,Ploch S,Xia X,Çelik A,Thines M,Maciá-Vicente JG




Has Abstract


2016-09-01 00:00:00












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