Foliar endophyte assemblages of teak trees growing in dry deciduous and moist deciduous forests of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve were compared. A species of Phomopsis dominated the endophyte assemblages of teak, irrespective of the location of the host trees. Internal transcribed spacer sequence analysis of 11 different Phomopsis isolates (ten from teak and one from Cassia fistula) showed that they fall into two groups, which are separated by a relatively long branch that is strongly supported. The results showed that this fungus is not host restricted and that it continues to survive as a saprotroph in teak leaf, possibly by exploiting senescent leaves as well as the litter. Although the endophyte assemblage of a teak tree growing about 500 km from the forests was also dominated by a Phomopsis sp., it separated into a different group based on internal transcribed spacer sequence analysis. Our results with an endophytic Phomopsis sp. reinforce the earlier conclusions reached by others for pathogenic Phomopsis sp., i.e., that this fungus is not host specific, and the species concept of Phomopsis needs to be redefined.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology