The dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans
causes significant structural damage by decaying construction timber, resulting in costly restoration procedures. Dry rot fungi decompose cellulose and hemicellulose and are often accompanied by a succession of bacteria and other fungi. Bacterial–fungal interactions (BFI) have a considerable impact on all the partners, ranging from antagonistic to beneficial relationships. Using a cultivation-based approach, we show that S. lacrymans
has many co-existing, mainly Gram-positive, bacteria and demonstrate differences in the communities associated with distinct fungal parts. Bacteria isolated from the fruiting bodies and mycelia were dominated by Firmicutes, while bacteria isolated from rhizomorphs were dominated by Proteobacteria. Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were less abundant. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis revealed that bacteria were not present biofilm-like, but occurred as independent cells scattered across and within tissues, sometimes also attached to fungal spores. In co-culture, some bacterial isolates caused growth inhibition of S. lacrymans,
and vice versa, and some induced fungal pigment production. It was found that 25% of the isolates could degrade pectin, 43% xylan, 17% carboxymethylcellulose, and 66% were able to depolymerize starch. Our results provide first insights for a better understanding of the holobiont S. lacrymans
and give hints that bacteria influence the behavior of S. lacrymans
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