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Tree Physiol. 2005 Mar;25(3):289-97.

Seasonal variations in location and population structure of endophytes in buds of Scots pine.

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Department of Biology/Botany, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland.


We studied the location and distribution of a bacterial isolate, a Mycobacterium sp., in buds of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Using a probe specific for the 16S rRNA of the Mycobacterium sp., the bacterium was found by in situ hybridization in the meristematic tissues of 40% of all bud samples examined. Because we had previously found other bacterial and fungal endophytes in the meristematic tissues of Scots pine buds, we studied their occurrence in buds during shoot development and dormancy. Using probes targeted to the 16S or 18S rRNA of the endophytes Mycobacterium sp., Methylobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp. and Rhodotorula minuta, endophytes were found in association with growing tissues, with Methylobacterium spp. being the dominant species. Endophytes were detected in abundance before elongation or differentiation of a bud, but once a tissue was fully developed, endophytes were no longer detected. Metabolic activity of the endophytes was suppressed at the onset of, and during, dormancy of Scots pine, but recovered before the following growing season.

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