Frequency of Dark Septate Endophytes Colonization in Iris germanica L.



Dark septate endophytes (DSE) are a group of fungi from phylum Ascomycota that develop inside healthy root tissue of a wide range of plants from diverse habitats. They play a role in nutrient acquisition and survival of their hosts in limiting conditions. Aim of this research was to identify the seasonal occurrence of dark septate endophytes across a cultivar gradient in urban conditions from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Root samples from six Iris germanica cultivars were collected in spring and autumn. Microscopic assessment was conducted on 2160 root segments. Average DSE frequency in roots of Iris germanica was 14.58%. Analysis of variance revealed that influence exercised by the cultivar was not significant (p=0.37), but the interaction between cultivar and phenophase explained 53.97% of overall variance. DSE were identified in all six cultivars, indicating either to a similar susceptibility of the host genotype or lack of specificity of the fungal endophyte. Unravelling the functional roles of these fungi could contribute to a better understating of plant-fungi interactions in anthropic environments.


rhizosphere; genotype; fungi; season; root.

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