Culturable Foliar Fungal Endophytes of Mangrove Species in Bicol Region, Philippines
Jonathan Jaime G. Guerrero*, Mheljor A. General, and Jocelyn E. Serrano
Department of Biology, College of Science, Bicol University, Legazpi City, Albay 4500 Philippines
Identification of fungi in the mangrove ecosystem is warranted because of the need to document species richness in unique ecosystems, amidst the continuous anthropogenic and climatic threats to mangrove forests and the potentials for biotechnological applications. This study aimed to identify endophytic fungi in association with mangrove species. Leaves – devoid of discoloration, wound, physical deformation, or necrosis – of 21 mangrove species in the Bicol region, Philippines were collected. Circular discs from each leaf were surface sterilized, plated on potato dextrose agar (PDA), and incubated for 7–14 d at room temperature. Growing fungi were transferred individually into sterile PDA slants for identification. A total of 53 endophytic fungi belonging to 15 orders and 19 families were isolated – 75.47% ascomycetes, 20.75% basidiomycetes, and 3.77% zygomycetes. Trametes cubensis (Mont.) Sacc. and Pestalotiopsis cocculi (Guba) were the most distributed among the mangrove hosts. The mangroves Rhizophora mucronata Lam. and Lumnitzera racemosa Willd. hosted the most number of fungal endophytes with 15 and 12, respectively.
It is reported that fungal species inhabiting the mangrove ecosystem account for the second largest group of marine fungi (Cheng et al 2008). The distinctiveness of the mangrove ecosystem and the mangroves themselves provide an exceptional niche for fungi to colonize. Mangroves must adapt to changing salinity, high temperature, anaerobic soils, and faunal competition (Debbab et al. 2013). Moreover, the rise and fall of the tides present a dynamic ecotone between terrestrial and marine habitats (Cheng et al. 2009). These environmental factors create unique pressures on fungal diversity that may allow them to differ from their terrestrial counterparts. . . . read more
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