Endophytic fungal community succession in reproductive organs of two olive tree cultivars with contrasting anthracnose susceptibilities uri icon


  • The factors shaping endophytic fungal assemblages in reproductive organs have been less evaluated than in vegetative organs. Here, the temporal dynamics of fungal endophytes in inflorescences and fruits of olive tree cultivars with contrasting anthracnose susceptibilities was assessed, starting before flowers open until fruit ripening. Fungal diversity assessed by rRNA sequencing of cultivable isolates revealed a higher richness and abundance of endophytes in inflorescences than in fruits. Endophytes from Sordariomycetes were dominant in inflorescences, while in fruits they were from Dothideomycetes. The overall assemblages of inflorescences and fruits were shaped mainly by the plant organ, followed by the phenological stage and lastly, by the plant cultivar. The importance of cultivar as a shaping factor varied according to the plant organ, being only significant in inflorescence-associated endophytes. A set of fungal taxa were positively associated with a particular cultivar and phenological stage, likely contributing to the plant anthracnose resistance.

publication date

  • February 1, 2021