Biodiversity study of endophytic fungi associated with two Quercus species in Iran

Saied Ghasemi, Sima Khodaei, Kaivan Karimi, Majid Tavakoli, Illaria Pertot, Mahdi Arzanlou


Aim of study: In this study, frequency and diversity of fungal endophyte communities inhabiting twigs and branches of apparently healthy Q. macranthera and Q. brantii in East Azerbaijan and Lorestan provinces of Iran is presented.

Area of study: East Azerbaijan and Lorestan provinces in Iran.

Materials and methods: Culturable fungal endophytes were recovered from wood tissues using routine technique for isolation of fungal endophytes. The identity of fungal isolates were determined based on morphological characteristics and sequences data of ITS-rDNA region and Beta-tubulin gene. Frequency and diversity among fungal communities were analyzed using chi-square test and biodiversity indices.

Main results: The highest frequency and diversity was detected for fungal endophyte community recovered from Q. macranthera and East Azerbaijan province. The assemblage of endophytic fungi characterized in this study in healthy tissues of oak trees indicates that some of the fungi are possible latent pathogens such as Biscogniauxia mediterranea with 18.28% frequency followed by Alternaria alternata and Trichothecium roseum respectively. Two fungal taxa of Pyronema domesticum and Valsa persoonii are reported for the first time in Iran. Overall, the results of this study show that the plant species and growth location influence frequency and diversity of culturable fungal endophytic communities of Quercus in Iran.

Keywords: Quercus macranthera, Quercus brantii, Fungal endophytes, Molecular identification.

Abbreviations used: CBS (Centraal Bureau voor Schimmelcultures); CCTU (Culture Collection of University of Tabriz); GTR (General Time Reversible); HKY (Hasegawa Kishino Yano); ITS-rDNA (Internal Transcribed Space); km (kilometer) ; PDA (Potato Dextrose Agar); TUB (Tubulin).

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2019281-14528