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Fungal endophytes and origins of decay in beech (Fagus sylvatica) sapwood

Gilmartin, Emma C., Jusino, Michelle A., Pyne, Edward J., Banik, Mark T., Lindner, Daniel L. and Boddy, Lynne ORCID: 2022. Fungal endophytes and origins of decay in beech (Fagus sylvatica) sapwood. Fungal Ecology 59 , 101161. 10.1016/j.funeco.2022.101161

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Sapwood comprises much above-ground forest biomass, but its mycobiome in living trees is largely unknown. Here, we characterize the endophytic fungal communities of the functional sapwood of young and mature living beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) at multiple scales, from within individual trees to woodland sites across the southern United Kingdom. Fungal community composition was determined using both culture-based and molecular approaches across two loci. Wood decay fungi, including those that cause heart rot, were detected in approximately 80% of all samples. Fungal community composition differed according to the survey approach (high throughput sequencing vs. isolation of fungi into culture) and between geographic location and individual trees, but no significant patterns were detected at different heights in individual trees or around their circumferences. ITS and LSU sequencing detected more distinct taxa than culturing. However, LSU primers yielded more OTUs than did ITS primers, though both identified unique OTUs. This highlights the importance of multiple survey approaches, including multiple primer pairs, for better characterisation of communities and confidence in results of endophyte studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1754-5048
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 20 April 2022
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 20:22

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