Canadian Forest Service Publications

Biodiversity of foliar fungal endophytes in white spruce (Picea glauca) from southern Québec. 2006. Stefani, F.O.P.; Bérubé, J.A. Can. J. Bot. 84: 777-790.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26625

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The objective of this study was to investigate the foliar endophyte of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss to establish a baseline for future comparative studies examining the impact of forestry practices. It identifies for the first time endophytic fungi living inside the needles of white spruce from 280 needles collected in seven natural stands in southern Québec. The endophyte colonization rate on surface sterilized needles was 53.2%. We performed a PCF-RFLP and sequence analysis on the ITS region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA to achieve molecular identification. Isolate ITS sequences were compared with data from GenBank presenting the best similarity and were analysed by a maximum of parsimony and Bayesian inference. Relationships between morphological groups, digestion groups, and sequence groups were investigated. In all, 23 morphotypes were found to belong to 14 sequence groups and we demonstrated that morphological groups are poor indicators for estimating species diversity. This study is the first to establish species richness values for foliar endophytes. Among the 141 isolates in this study, 75.15% have a high sequence similarity with Lophodermium piceae, 10.95% with an unknown species of Mycosphaerella, and 5.5% with two species of the genus Hypoxylon. Distribution, incidence and biological significance of all the endophytes found in this study are discussed.