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Microorganisms. 2019 Jan 27;7(2). pii: E37. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms7020037.

Fungal Endophyte Communities of Three Agricultural Important Grass Species Differ in Their Response Towards Management Regimes.

Author information

1
Genomic and Applied Microbiology and Göttingen Genomics Laboratory, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August University of Göttingen, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany. bwemheu@gwdg.de.
2
Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. bwemheu@gwdg.de.
3
Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. t.thomas@unsw.edu.au.
4
Genomic and Applied Microbiology and Göttingen Genomics Laboratory, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August University of Göttingen, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany. franziska.wemheuer@biologie.uni-goettingen.de.
5
Division of Agricultural Entomology, Department of Crop Sciences, Georg-August University of Göttingen, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany. franziska.wemheuer@biologie.uni-goettingen.de.

Abstract

Despite the importance of endophytic fungi for plant health, it remains unclear how these fungi are influenced by grassland management practices. Here, we investigated the effect of fertilizer application and mowing frequency on fungal endophyte communities and their life strategies in aerial tissues of three agriculturally important grass species (Dactylis glomerata L., Festuca rubra L. and Lolium perenne L.) over two consecutive years. Our results showed that the management practices influenced fungal communities in the plant holobiont, but observed effects differed between grass species and sampling year. Phylogenetic diversity of fungal endophytes in D. glomerata was significantly affected by mowing frequency in 2010, whereas fertilizer application and the interaction of fertilization with mowing frequency had a significant impact on community composition of L. perenne in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Taken together, our research provides a basis for future studies on responses of fungal endophytes towards management practices. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study simultaneously assessing fungal endophyte communities in aerial parts of three agriculturally important grass species over two consecutive years.

KEYWORDS:

Fungal endophytes; agriculturally important grass species; associated fungi; fertilization; grassland management; high-throughput sequencing; mowing frequency; putative fungal life strategies

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