Table of Contents
Microorganisms, Volume 8, Issue 4 (April 2020) – 158 articles
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Dark septate endophytes (DSEs) are polyphyletic ascomycetes that form intimate associations with [...] Read more. Dark septate endophytes (DSEs) are polyphyletic ascomycetes that form intimate associations with the roots of most plant species. DSEs have a wide geographical distribution (from arctic to tropical ecosystems) and display strong abilities to tolerate a range of environmental stresses. DSEs are particularly tolerant to trace elements (TE) and are commonly found in soils heavily contaminated by TE. Moreover, the beneficial inoculation of several plant species to cope with TE toxicity has also been reported. The high production of melanin, a black polymer found in cell walls, was hypothesized by several authors to play a role in the TE tolerance of DSEs. To test this hypothesis, we established a series of experiments using albino strains and melanin inhibitors and examined the responses to Cd and Zn. We demonstrate that melanin production is not an important functional trait that contributes to Cd and Zn tolerance, but might contribute to Cd accumulation.