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Fungi as Endophytes in Artemisia thuscula: Juxtaposed Elements of Diversity and Phylogeny

Department Botanica, Ecologia & Fisiologia Vegetal, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2018, 4(1), 17;
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Endophytes in Plants)
Artemisia is a plant genus highly studied for its medicinal applications. The studies on the associated fungal endophytes are scarce. Ten plants specimens of Artemisia thuscula from Tenerife and La Palma were sampled to isolate the endophytic fungi. Identification of the endophytic fungi was based on morphology, Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) and Large Subunit (LSU) regions sequencing and indicates 37 fungal species affiliated to 25 fungal genera. Colonization rate varied among plants (CR = 25% to 92.11%). The most dominant colonizers found were Alternaria alternata (CF = 18.71%), Neofusicoccum sp. (CF = 8.39%) and Preussia sp. (CF = 3.23). Tendency for host specificity of most endophytic fungal species was observed. Sorensen–Dice index revealed that of 45 cases in the matrix, 27 of them were of zero similarity. Further, only one case was found to have 57% similarity (TF2 and TF7) and one case with 50% similarity (TF1 and TF4). The rest of the cases had values ranging between 11% and 40% similarity. Diversity indices like Brillouin, Margalef species richness, Simpson index of diversity and Fisher’s alpha, revealed plants from La Palma with higher values than plants from Tenerife. Three nutrient media (i.e., potato dextrose agar―PDA, lignocellulose agar―LCA, and tomato juice agar―V8) were used in a case study and revealed no differences in terms of colonization rate when data was averaged. Colonization frequency showed several species with preference for nutrient medium (63% of the species were isolated from only one nutrient medium). For the phylogenetic reconstruction using the Bayesian method, 54 endophytic fungal ITS sequences and associated GenBank sequences were analyzed. Ten orders (Diaporthales, Dothideales, Botryosphaeriales, Hypocreales, Trichosphaeriales, Amphisphaeriales, Xylariales, Capnodiales, Pleosporales and Eurotiales) were recognized. Several arrangements of genera draw the attention, like Aureobasidium (Dothideales) and Aplosporella (Botryosphaeriales) which are clustered with a recent ancestor (BS = 0.97). View Full-Text
Keywords: Artemisia; fungal endophytes; biodiversity; phylogeny Artemisia; fungal endophytes; biodiversity; phylogeny
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cosoveanu, A.; Rodriguez Sabina, S.; Cabrera, R. Fungi as Endophytes in Artemisia thuscula: Juxtaposed Elements of Diversity and Phylogeny. J. Fungi 2018, 4, 17.

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