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Article

The Relationship between Fungal Diversity and Invasibility of a Foliar Niche—The Case of Ash Dieback

1
Natural History Museum and Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, 50411 Tartu, Estonia
2
Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
3
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, p.b. 115, 1431 Ås, Norway
4
Institute of Forestry and Park Gardening, Ukrainian National Forestry University, 79057 Lviv, Ukraine
5
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, p.b. 2609, 7734 Steinkjer, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030150
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 19 August 2020 / Accepted: 24 August 2020 / Published: 26 August 2020
European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is threatened by the invasive ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus originating from Asia. Ash leaf tissues serve as a route for shoot infection but also as a sporulation substrate for this pathogen. Knowledge of the leaf niche partitioning by indigenous fungi and H. fraxineus is needed to understand the fungal community receptiveness to the invasion. We subjected DNA extracted from unwashed and washed leaflets of healthy and diseased European ash to PacBio sequencing of the fungal ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 rDNA region. Leaflets from co-inhabiting rowan trees (Sorbus aucuparia) served as a reference. The overlap in leaflet mycobiomes between ash and rowan was remarkably high, but unlike in rowan, in ash leaflets the sequence read proportion, and the qPCR-based DNA amount estimates of H. fraxineus increased vigorously towards autumn, concomitant with a significant decline in overall fungal richness. The niche of ash and rowan leaves was dominated by epiphytic propagules (Vishniacozyma yeasts, the dimorphic fungus Aureobasidion pullulans and the dematiaceous hyphomycete Cladosporium ramotenellum and H. fraxineus), and endophytic thalli of biotrophs (Phyllactinia and Taphrina species), the indigenous necrotroph Venturia fraxini and H. fraxineus. Mycobiome comparison between healthy and symptomatic European ash leaflets revealed no significant differences in relative abundance of H. fraxineus, but A. pullulans was more prevalent in symptomatic trees. The impacts of host specificity, spatiotemporal niche partitioning, species carbon utilization profiles and life cycle traits are discussed to understand the ecological success of H. fraxineus in Europe. Further, the inherent limitations of different experimental approaches in the profiling of foliicolous fungi are addressed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hymenoscyphus fraxineus; Venturia fraxini; mycobiome; epiphytic and endophytic fungi; qPCR; PacBio Hymenoscyphus fraxineus; Venturia fraxini; mycobiome; epiphytic and endophytic fungi; qPCR; PacBio
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MDPI and ACS Style

Agan, A.; Drenkhan, R.; Adamson, K.; Tedersoo, L.; Solheim, H.; Børja, I.; Matsiakh, I.; Timmermann, V.; Nagy, N.E.; Hietala, A.M. The Relationship between Fungal Diversity and Invasibility of a Foliar Niche—The Case of Ash Dieback. J. Fungi 2020, 6, 150. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030150

AMA Style

Agan A, Drenkhan R, Adamson K, Tedersoo L, Solheim H, Børja I, Matsiakh I, Timmermann V, Nagy NE, Hietala AM. The Relationship between Fungal Diversity and Invasibility of a Foliar Niche—The Case of Ash Dieback. Journal of Fungi. 2020; 6(3):150. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030150

Chicago/Turabian Style

Agan, Ahto, Rein Drenkhan, Kalev Adamson, Leho Tedersoo, Halvor Solheim, Isabella Børja, Iryna Matsiakh, Volkmar Timmermann, Nina E. Nagy, and Ari M. Hietala 2020. "The Relationship between Fungal Diversity and Invasibility of a Foliar Niche—The Case of Ash Dieback" Journal of Fungi 6, no. 3: 150. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030150

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