National Research Council of Italy

Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources

The endophytic fungal communities associated with the leaves and roots of the common reed (Phragmites australis) in Lake Trasimeno (Perugia, Italy) in declining and healthy stands

Angelini P, Rubini A, Gigante D, Reale L, Pagiotti R, Venanzoni R

Fungal Ecology 5 (6): 683-693.
doi: 10.1016/j.funeco.2012.03.001

We surveyed the fungal endophytes in the leaves and roots of Phragmites australis plants along a gradient of reed decline at Lake Trasimeno (central Italy) in Oct. 2010. An integrated approach consisting of cultivation and molecular identification was used. Endophytes were recovered from 61.59 % of the samples, with a total of 1 541 isolates. On the basis of a molecular analysis of the rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region, 25 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. Fusarium sp. (OTU 21) and Gibberella moniliformis (OTU 1) were the most frequently isolated fungi. Comparisons of the leaf and root samples demonstrated spatial heterogeneity in the endophyte assemblages among the plant parts and sites. In this study, we have shown that reed plants in different states of decline harbour different endophytic communities. This finding may help to understand the very complex scenario of reed die-back.

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