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      Diversity and community of culturable endophytic fungi from stems and roots of desert halophytes in northwest China

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          Halophytes have high species diversity and play important roles in ecosystems. However, endophytic fungi of halophytes in desert ecosystems have been less investigated. In this study, we examined endophytic fungi associated with the stem and root of ten halophytic species colonizing the Gurbantonggut desert. A total of 36 endophytic fungal taxa were obtained, dominated by Alternaria eichhorniae , Monosporascus ibericus , and Pezizomycotina sp.1. The colonization rate and species richness of endophytic fungi varied in the ten plant species, with higher rates in roots than in stems. The endophytic fungal community composition was significantly affected by plant identity and tissue type. Some endophytic fungi showed significant host and tissue preferences. This finding suggests that host identity and tissue type structure endophytic fungal community in a desert ecosystem.

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          Most cited references 54

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          Fungal endophytes: diversity and functional roles.

          All plants in natural ecosystems appear to be symbiotic with fungal endophytes. This highly diverse group of fungi can have profound impacts on plant communities through increasing fitness by conferring abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, increasing biomass and decreasing water consumption, or decreasing fitness by altering resource allocation. Despite more than 100 yr of research resulting in thousands of journal articles, the ecological significance of these fungi remains poorly characterized. Historically, two endophytic groups (clavicipitaceous (C) and nonclavicipitaceous (NC)) have been discriminated based on phylogeny and life history traits. Here, we show that NC-endophytes represent three distinct functional groups based on host colonization and transmission, in planta biodiversity and fitness benefits conferred to hosts. Using this framework, we contrast the life histories, interactions with hosts and potential roles in plant ecophysiology of C- and NC-endophytes, and highlight several key questions for future work in endophyte biology.
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            Salinity tolerance in halophytes.

            Halophytes, plants that survive to reproduce in environments where the salt concentration is around 200 mm NaCl or more, constitute about 1% of the world's flora. Some halophytes show optimal growth in saline conditions; others grow optimally in the absence of salt. However, the tolerance of all halophytes to salinity relies on controlled uptake and compartmentalization of Na+, K+ and Cl- and the synthesis of organic 'compatible' solutes, even where salt glands are operative. Although there is evidence that different species may utilize different transporters in their accumulation of Na+, in general little is known of the proteins and regulatory networks involved. Consequently, it is not yet possible to assign molecular mechanisms to apparent differences in rates of Na+ and Cl- uptake, in root-to-shoot transport (xylem loading and retrieval), or in net selectivity for K+ over Na+. At the cellular level, H+-ATPases in the plasma membrane and tonoplast, as well as the tonoplast H+-PPiase, provide the trans-membrane proton motive force used by various secondary transporters. The widespread occurrence, taxonomically, of halophytes and the general paucity of information on the molecular regulation of tolerance mechanisms persuade us that research should be concentrated on a number of 'model' species that are representative of the various mechanisms that might be involved in tolerance.
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              Stress tolerance in plants via habitat-adapted symbiosis.

              We demonstrate that native grass species from coastal and geothermal habitats require symbiotic fungal endophytes for salt and heat tolerance, respectively. Symbiotically conferred stress tolerance is a habitat-specific phenomenon with geothermal endophytes conferring heat but not salt tolerance, and coastal endophytes conferring salt but not heat tolerance. The same fungal species isolated from plants in habitats devoid of salt or heat stress did not confer these stress tolerances. Moreover, fungal endophytes from agricultural crops conferred disease resistance and not salt or heat tolerance. We define habitat-specific, symbiotically-conferred stress tolerance as habitat-adapted symbiosis and hypothesize that it is responsible for the establishment of plants in high-stress habitats. The agricultural, coastal and geothermal plant endophytes also colonized tomato (a model eudicot) and conferred disease, salt and heat tolerance, respectively. In addition, the coastal plant endophyte colonized rice (a model monocot) and conferred salt tolerance. These endophytes have a broad host range encompassing both monocots and eudicots. Interestingly, the endophytes also conferred drought tolerance to plants regardless of the habitat of origin. Abiotic stress tolerance correlated either with a decrease in water consumption or reactive oxygen sensitivity/generation but not to increased osmolyte production. The ability of fungal endophytes to confer stress tolerance to plants may provide a novel strategy for mitigating the impacts of global climate change on agricultural and native plant communities.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                03 February 2020
                : 62
                : 75-95
                [1 ] State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing China
                [2 ] National Joint Engineering Research Center of Separation and purification technology of Chinese Ethnic Veterinary Herbs, Tongren Polytechnic College, Tongren, 554300, China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing China
                [3 ] College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China Tongren Polytechnic College Tongren China
                [4 ] Department of Molecular Biology and Ecology of Plants, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel Tel Aviv University Tel-Aviv Israel
                [5 ] School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China Fujian Normal University Fuzhou China
                Author notes
                Corresponding authors: Xiang Sun ( sunx@ 123456tauex.tau.ac.il ); Liang-Dong Guo ( guold@ 123456im.ac.cn )

                Academic editor: P. Divakar

                Jia-Long Li, Xiang Sun, Yong Zheng, Peng-Peng Lü, Yong-Long Wang, Liang-Dong Guo

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China 501100001809 http://doi.org/10.13039/501100001809
                Research Article
                ecosystems & natural spaces
                Populations & Communities
                Central Asia


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