High diversity of endophytic fungi from the pharmaceutical plant, Heterosmilax japonica Kunth revealed by cultivation-independent approach

Authors

  • Xiao-Xia Gao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
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  • Hui Zhou,

    1. Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
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  • Dai-Ying Xu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
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  • Chun-Hong Yu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
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  • Yue-Qin Chen,

    1. Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
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  • Liang-Hu Qu

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, Zhongshan University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China
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  • Edited by N. Gunde-Cimerman

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 20 84112399; fax: +86 20 84036551. lszzh@zsu.edu.cn, lsbrc04@zsu.edu.cn

Abstract

Heterosmilax japonica Kunth is well recognized for its diuretic effects in China. However, little is known about its endophytic fungi. In this study, microbial communities inhabiting the stems of H. japonica in spring and summer were investigated by light microscopy and cultivation-independent approaches, such as RFLP analysis and sequencing of rDNA ITS library. Molecular phylogenetic analysis showed that a broad spectrum of fungi, including Mycosphaerella, Phomopsis, Aureobasidium, Cladosporium, Glomerella, Botryosphaeria, Guignardia, is able to colonize the plants internally. Particularly, several rDNA sequences determined in this study like YJ4-61 are not specifically affiliated with any currently documented fungal sequences in the public database. Several sequence types, such as YJ4-9 and YJ4–70, are significantly similar to some uncultured environmental samples. Furthermore, our result also showed that the samples collected in spring harbored more abundant endophytic populations than that in summer, implying a seasonal fluctuation for the endophytes in H. japonica.

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