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Leroy, C., Maes, A. Q., Louisanna, E., & Séjalon-Delmas, N. (2019). How significant are endophytic fungi in bromeliad seeds and seedlings? Effects on germination, survival and performance of two epiphytic plant species. Fungal Ecol., 39, 296–306.
Abstract: In bromeliads, nothing is known about the associations fungi form with seeds and seedling roots. We investigated whether fungal associations occur in the seeds and seedling roots of two epiphytic Aechmea species, and we explored whether substrate and fungal associations contribute to seed germination, and seedling survival and performance after the first month of growth. We found a total of 21 genera and 77 species of endophytic fungi in the seeds and seedlings for both Aechmea species by Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The fungal associations in seeds were found in the majority of corresponding seedlings, suggesting that fungi are transmitted vertically. Substrate quality modulated the germination and growth of seedlings, and beneficial endophytic fungi were not particularly crucial for germination but contributed positively to survival and growth. Overall, this study provides the first evidence of an endophytic fungal community in both the seeds and seedlings of two epiphytic bromeliads species that subsequently benefit plant growth. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd and British Mycological Society
Keywords: Aechmea; Bromeliads; Endophytic fungi; Fusarium spp.; Germination; Survival; Trichoderma spp.; Vertical transmission