Acta Botanica Brasilica
Print version ISSN 0102-3306
HILARINO, Mariana Patrícia Amorim et al. Distribution of the endophytic fungi community in leaves of Bauhinia brevipes (Fabaceae). Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.4, pp. 815-821. ISSN 0102-3306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-33062011000400008.
Endophytic fungi represent large, yet unexplored components of biodiversity. This work evaluated the richness and the distribution of endophytes in the leaves of Bauhinia brevipes (Fabaceae). A total of 1110 colonies were recovered from the samples and grouped by their morphological traits into 126 taxa. The total number of taxa according to leaf development was: 102 in mature leaves, 93 in recently expanded leaves and 79 for unfolded leaves. The major endophyte genera were Phomopsis, followed by Dothiorella, Pestalotiopsis and Acremonium. The richness and the isolate numbers of endophytes were not statistically affected by leaf region. However, some taxa were leaf-age specific; six were isolated only from unfolded leaves, nine from recently expanded leaves and 17 were exclusively found in mature leaves. The composition of endophytes varied with leaf region; the similarities (Jaccard's Index) among the leaf regions of different leaf ages ranged from 0.36 to 0.46, indicating a high spatial variation in the community of endophytic fungi inside the leaves. The high richness of endophytes in this host plant highlights a significant contribution of fungi to tropical biodiversity and the need for further research in this area.
Keywords : plant-endophyte interaction; Phomopsis; tissue-recurrence; endophyte richnes.