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Abstract Detail


MSA - Ecology/Pathology

Del Olmo-Ruiz, Mariana [1], Santos-Rodríguez, J. Fabiola [1], Arnold, A.E. [1].

Surveys of endophytic fungi from lowland tropical ferns reveal diverse communities of relatively recently derived fungal groups.

Although ferns represent the second most species-rich group of vascular plants, most studies of foliar endophytes have focused on angiosperms and conifers, overlooking the fungal communities associated with these earlier diverging lineages of terrestrial plants. We examined endophyte communities associated with seven species of ferns representing five families at La Selva, Costa Rica in 2007 and 2008. When potential variation due to phylogenetic position of hosts was taken into account, we found no statistical differences in isolation frequencies for frond blades versus stalks, or epiphytic versus terrestrial plants. However we did find differences among fern taxa, with significantly higher infection frequencies in the Dryopteridaceae (Bolbitis portorincensis and Elaphoglossum doanense) relative to members of the other families examined here (Lomariopsidae: Cyclopeltis semicordata and Nephrolepis biserrata; Oleandraceae: Oleandra articulata; Polypodiaceae: Phlebodium pseudoaureum; Tectariaceae: Tectaria athyrioides). Analyses of sequence data at the genotype level (ITSrDNA) and preliminary phylogenetic analyses (LSUrDNA) for 471 isolates reveal that most of the cultivable endophytes associated with these hosts are Sordariomycetes, congruent with their occurrence in a lowland neotropical forest. Diversity of these fungi is consistent with diversity estimates published previously for neotropical angiosperms. Host specificity, community partitioning with regard to terrestrial and epiphytic habits, and the contribution of these data to recent hypotheses regarding diffuse coevolution between major plant lineages and classes of Pezizomycotina will be discussed.


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1 - The University of Arizona, Department of Plant Sciences, Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, 1140 E. South Campus Drive, Forbes 303, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA

Keywords:
Fungal endophytes
ferns
La Selva, Costa Rica.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 44
Location: Cottonwood B/Snowbird Center
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 44006
Abstract ID:205


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