Total DNA extraction from sand samples was performed to study the fungaldiversity in the nests by culture independent techniques. A sand wash solution was prepared by adding 300g of sand sample to 300mL of sterile phosphate buffer and agitated on a shaker at least for 12 hours. After agitation period, the solution allowed to settle at the bottom of the flask to avoid excess particulate in the suspension. The suspension was filtered through 0.45µm nitrocellulose membranes (Millipore, Billerica, MA). Membranes containing microorganisms were stored at - 20˚C until DNA extraction was performed using the FastDNA Spin Kit for Soil® with modifications (Apendix A). DNA extractions were documented in 0.8% agarose gel after staining with ethidium bromide (10µg/ml). Total DNA extraction from failed eggs content was performed with the protocol described by Couto (2009).
Fungal communities play multiple key roles in the ecosystem. They represent the majority of biomass on soils, decompose organic material, providing nutrients to plants, and act as biomarkers of the ecosystem health (Borneman and Hartin, 2000). Despite the current knowledge on the existing fungal species, most of them remain uncharacterized; in the last two decades, a conservative number of ~1.5 million fungal species had been estimated (Hawksworth and Rossman, 1997). The estimation of the Earth’s fungal richness depends mostly in the different extrapolation techniques. While some recent studies estimate at least 6 million species, considering the fungus to plant ratio (17:1) (Taylor et al., 2014), others remains more cautious and estimate between 2.2 to 3.8 million fungal species by taking into account fungus to plant ratios, and also species discovery and molecular sequence data (Hawksworth and Lucking, 2017). These studies highlight the lack of knowledge and disparity between estimations on the real fungaldiversity on Earth, a problem that arises from the lack of an ideal method that allows identifying the undescribed fungal species and from the vast amount of environments that remain to be sampled. In addition, there are no realistic estimates that include fungi associated with animals or fungi from freshwater and marine environments (Richards et al., 2012).
The soil is considered the largest reservoir of biodiversity in the world. In all terrestrial ecosystems, soil fungi play an important ecological role in nutrient recycling, and in addition they establish mutualistic and pathogenic interactions with plants. One third of the terrestrial surface is considered as arid or semi-arid. Despite of the fundamental role that fungi play in the ecosystem dynamics, little is known about their distribution, diversity and abundance in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. To assess the diversity and abundance of fungi in a semi-arid ecosystem with mediterranean climate from Baja California, Mexico, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of nuclear DNA was used as a marker for fungal DNA barcoding and a 454 pyrosequencing approach was undertaken. Two different micro-habitats, one influenced by rodent’s activity (burrow) and the other one with undisturbed soil (surface), were analyzed both in Winter and Summer. Physicochemical characteristics of the soil were also established. Between 148×10 3 and 340×10 3
In nature, most plants are colonized by different groups of fungi; the fungaldiversity in the roots of a single plant species growing in a single sampling location has been re- ported to cover all phyla (Vandenkoornhuyse et al. 2002). The most commonly found fungal groups inhabiting plant roots comprise arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and dark septate endophytes (DSE). AMF [Phylum Mucoromycota, Subphylum Glomeromycotina (Spatafora et al. 2016)] as- sociate with the roots of more than 80 % of vascular plants under a mutualistic interaction denominated arbuscular my- corrhiza (AM) (Smith & Read 2008). AMF facilitate the assimilation of less mobile nutrients, such as phosphorus (P), through the development of an extended network of hyphae in the soil (Parniske 2008). DSE are mainly Ascomycota, which are capable of colonizing the roots of nearly all plant species (Jumpponen & Trappe 1998). Knowledge on the roles that the plant root-DSE association plays continues to be very limited. The roles that have been suggested include involvement in enhancing plant survival and performance during periods of stress (Newsham 2011, Mandyam & Jump- ponen 2015). DSE interact with their host plant and/or other endophytes, synthesizing bioactive metabolites, which may play important ecological roles, and may lead to biotech- nological applications (Kusari et al. 2012). In a tripartite plant-DSE-AMF interaction, a synergistic relationship has been hypothesized between both fungal groups in relation to P availability and uptake by plants: DSE increase the P pool in the rhizosphere, and AMF are responsible for P transfer to the host (Della Monica et al. 2015).
There are few data on aeromycota for arid zones, but these findings indicate that the dominant genera are Alternaria, Aspergillus/Penicillium and Cladosporium, such as in this study. Given the high allergenicity of these genera of fungi, this scenario has profound implications for public health. Cladospo- rium and Alternaria have been mentioned as the most common allergenic fungi (D’Amato et al., 1997), causing allergy, rhino- conjunctivitis and asthma; moreover, a notorious prevalence in pediatric population states for Alternaria (Peat et al., 1993; Bar- tra et al., 2009). This is decisive for northwest Mexico, where Alternaria is usually the dominant genus, followed by Clados- porium, in cities located in arid climates and surrounded by crops. The use of fungicides to optimize crops in these areas is thought to have a selective effect on fungaldiversity, favoring Alternaria, which must be evaluated in the context of both human and crop health.
different effect on seeds (Fig. 3). Other studies found no correlation between fungal taxonomy with germination efficacy (Wright et al. 2010) and could indicate other factors contributing to varying seed responses. Our findings also imply that the fungaldiversity in Pterostylis orchid species varies between the plants rather than within one plant despite morphological and genetic similarities (Huynh et al. 2009). Complex comparisons such as gene-environment interactions and metabolomic studies may provide more useful answers and direct future conservation efforts such as in situ inoculations to rejuvenate fungaldiversity to improve germination and growth.
Afromontane forests originally dominated the highland parts of Ethiopia, delivering a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits including key components of biodiversity. However, anthropogenic disturbances are causing a dramatic decline of these forests and gradually changed the scene. Among the factors, forest fires are increasingly contributing to the loss to these forests systems in the country. On the other hand, plantations of exotic trees are also another form of forests in the highland parts of Ethiopia. They are also serving as sources of industrial wood, firewood, farm implements, poles and posts. Owing to their rapid growth, plantations are subjected to traditional management systems mainly of a “plant, clear fell and replant” cycle method or "coppicing". For the last decades, researches have been conducted to assist the development, management and conservation of both forest systems in the country. However, fungal communities associated with these forests have been neglected and their knowledge is limited by lack of studies in Ethiopia. Previous studies indicated that forest fire and plantation forest management affected the macrofungal community in forest systems where the gestation period is long, although such impacts are yet understudied in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the information about ethnomycology and mushroom cultivation practices is scarce and the available works are even fragmented and limited in their scops to represent the country adequately. Thus, we aimed to compile and assess the existing literature on mushrooms in Ethiopia, and also, to conduct field systematic research to know fungaldiversity and production according to stand development and fires in plantations and natural forests respectively. Both review of literature and field studies were carried out for the purpose. The review made included all information available in the country while the field study was conducted at Wondo Genet forest area. In the field we established plots taking into consideration the similarity of the areas in terms of ecological conditions such as climate, altitude, and soil. For the purpose, in the Dry Afromontane forests, two burned and one unburned forest areas were selected. A total of nine sample plots, i.e. three in each area, were established. Similarly, a total of 18 plots were also established in Pinus patula (9 plots) and Eucalyptus grandis (9 plots) stands. In all cases the plots covered an area of 100 m 2 , with a rectangular shape (2 m x
Fisher’s α for all host fungal species identified was 7.03 and the Shannon’s diversity index was 2.13 (Table 3). Rarefaction species-accumulation curve for fungal isolation show that the asymptote indicating saturation of sampling is not observed yet (Fig. 4). Because the number of passalid beetles analyzed for each passalid species obtained from three trees was different, terminal values of the curves cannot be directly compared. Instead, the shape of the curves was compared, with higher initial slopes of the curves representing greater richness. Diversity indexes and the rarefaction curve produced for fungal species in relation to decaying trees showed no differences of fungaldiversity among decaying trees (Fig. 5; Table 3). For the fungal species among the three passalid species, diversity indexes show that the hosts Passalus sp. and Passalus variiphyllus have similar levels of diversity, regardless of their specimen number. Passalus interstitialis exhibits a considerably lower diversity of fungal species (Fig. 6; Table 4). Rarefaction analysis, based on the curve shape, was little higher for Passalus variiphyllus than Passalus sp. Passalus variiphyllus shows the lowest fungal species-accumulation curve.
Abstract: The succession of bacterial and fungal populations was assessed in an activated sludge (AS) diffusion bioreactor treating a synthetic malodorous emission containing H2S, toluene, butanone and alpha-pinene. Microbial community characteristics (bacterial and fungaldiversity, richness, evenness and composition) and bioreactor function relationships were evaluated at different empty bed residence times (EBRTs) and after process fluctuations and operational failures (robustness test). For H2S, butanone and toluene, the bioreactor showed a stable and efficient
influence on the local and regional galling diversity. The plant taxon size hypothesis develops from a analogous perspective, and proposes that gallers would be richer in species on plants from taxa also richer in species, usually at the family or genus level (Cornell, 1985; Fernandes, 1992). The process behind this pattern depends on plant taxa being natural groups in which chemical, structural and ecological characteristics are similar, and thus galler speciation through host shifts (see below) would tend to be between plants of the same family, at least more commonly than between plants of different families. This hypothesis has rarely been tested, although the few papers attempting it have given credence to the idea (Gonçalves-Alvim & Fernandes, 2001; Veldtman & McGeoch, 2003). On a similar tone, the plant geological age hypothesis predicts that geologically older taxa would offer more (longer) opportunity for galler host shifts and would thus accumulate galling species over time (Fernandes, 1992). There is room for more detailed consideration of this hypothesis in the literature, the only source for gallers (this is an old idea for herbivores in general, Southwood, 1960) appearing to be Fernandes (1992), who found no effect of plant family age on gallers (actually some of the more recent families sported the higher numbers of gallers).
To explore this hypothesis, we assessed in vitro interactions between 50 morphospecies of endophytic fungi isolated from T. cacao and three major cacao pathogens (Phytophthora sp., Monilio- phthora roreri, and Crinipellis perniciosa; L.C.M. E.I.R., Z.M., and E.A.H., unpublished results). Whereas a large proportion of endo- phytes (40%) antagonized at least one of these species in pairwise trials on MEA, a subset had no effect, and a subset were themselves antagonized. Endophytes that effectively antagonized particular pathogen species were not more likely to antagonize the other pathogens examined here. Finally, repeated trials on media con- taining leaf extracts of T. cacao differed qualitatively and quanti- tatively relative to outcomes on MEA. Together, these observations suggest that direct interactions between endophytes and pathogens are complex, diverse, and sensitive to host-specific leaf chemistry. We suggest that the apparent plasticity and diversity of interspecific fungal interactions may contribute to effective antipathogen de- fense in woody plants. Given the ever changing and diverse patho- gen assemblages in tropical forests, endophyte-mediated defense is likely to be enhanced when endophytes are highly diverse within and among leaves, plants, and host species.
We assessed the degree of genetic diversity of llex guayusa, a tree species of ethnobotanic and commercial relevance for indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon. We characterized 157 individuals, from small cultivation sites across six provinces, using nine Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) markers. A total of 91 polymorphic bands were detected across the complete sample-set, but estimated heterozygosity (H e = 0.19) revealed a reduced level of genetic variability. Partitioning of genetic diversity (AMOVA)
Muller, A.; Lehmann, I.; Seiffart, A. ; Diez, U. ; Wetzig, H. ; Borte, M. & Herbarth, O. (2002). Increased incidence of allergic sensitisation and respiratory diseases due to mould exposure: results of the Leipzig Allergy Risk Study (LARS). Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health 204:363-365 Newson, R.; Strachan, D.; Corden, J. & Millington, W. (2000). Fungal and other spore counts as predictors of admissions for asthma in the Trent region. Occup. Environ. Med. 57:786-792
In nature, a wide range of fungal strains are capable of using FMWs as sole carbon source. These fungal strains secrete a wide range of en- zymes with hydrolytic potential that can de- grade complex polymers of sugars, such as those present in the cell wall (Sanchez, 2009). Fungal enzymes from Penicillium purpurogenum, Neuros- pora crassa and Mucor sp. have been used in the degradation of coffee silverskin and spent coffee grounds generated by the coffee industry, result- ing in a higher release of phenolic compounds that can be applied either in the pharmaceutical or food industries (Machado et al., 2012). Pleuro- tus ostreatus has been used to degrade TP for the production of laccase enzyme (Freixo et al., 2012). In addition, the same substrate has been used to produce xylanase by Aspergillus awamori (Umsza- Guez et al., 2011).
Patterns of prevalence and geographical distribution The overall prevalence of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium in rufous-collared sparrows across Central and South America was 25%, varying among localities from 0 to 100%. Differences in prevalence among sampling places may be attributable to several factors involved in the transmission of hemoparasites, including identity and diversity of vector and host species, and abiotic environmental factors like precipitation, mean annual temperature and seasonality . The high overall prevalence was underlain principally by the presence of the most common haplotype of Haemopro- teus (H1). This haplotype had a higher prevalence at loca- tions between 32–33°S, similar to the findings of Merino et al. , who reported the highest prevalence between 33– 35°S (locales Rinconada and Pantanillos, respectively). The prevalence of Haemoproteus and Plasmodium were signifi- cantly affected by latitude, where the highest prevalence was observed in the central region of Chile west of the Andes (20–25°S) decreasing toward lower and higher latitudes. East of the Andes, northern Argentina also showed high prevalence for both parasites. A lower prevalence at more
Focus groups with women working for the same company in several different Latin American countries illustrate some of the possible cultural barriers. Women in these focus groups perceive informal gender-biased networks operating in the workplace. As evidence they cite conversations among men, serious and humorous, involving common touchstones to which women do not relate. One group of women in Brazil spoke for an hour about the “futbol” culture in their workplace and how it made them feel excluded. Another element of culture women remarked about frequently was how they feel, and how they are viewed, as they transition from being “mujer” to “mujer-madre”. Many women interviewed said this transition was very difficult for themselves and/or for their male and female colleagues. Some felt a total lack of understanding from male counterparts about the demands of motherhood while others said success navigating work and family depends on having an “understanding boss” (Maxfield forthcoming). While frustrated hearing these women employees’ concerns, this company embraced the need to explore ways to overcome cultural barriers to gender diversity. In this case, the business rationale was clearly to attract and retain talented employees.
Patterns of phylogenetic beta-diversity also have implications for conservation (Ferrier et al. 2007; Winter et al. 2009; Devictor et al. 2010). Communities share a greater fraction of PD than species (eqn 5). This suggests, as expected intuitively, that a single isolated area is more efficient in preserving PD than species richness. On the other hand, the phylogenetic similarity between communities decays with geographic distance at a slower pace than the similarity in species composition (eqns 5 and 6), such that larger distances between protected sites are needed to preserve PD relative to species diversity. In practice, as habitat degradation proceeds, conservation planners might have to choose between protecting distant but degraded sites vs. proximate but pristine ones. If degraded sites have lost their phylogenetic uniqueness, as can result from invasions (Winter et al. 2009), the beneficial effect of separating sites spatially needs to be compared with the beneficial effect of preserving the most unique species in pristine areas.
tion with elevation. Elevation was the most important factor affecting functional diversity in Phellodendron amurense communities (Table 2). Functional diversity had negative correlations with aspect, litter thickness and slope position (Figure 2, Table 2). These three variables were also signifi - cant for functional diversity in communities. Six of the se- ven indices (SOFM, FAD, MFAD, FDp, FDc, FRic) showed the same pattern with environmental variables because they were signifi cantly correlated with each other (Table 3). As a new method, SOFM index could complete functio- nal diversity analysis and provide reasonable results, i.e. describing the functional diversity and its change in Phello- dendron amurense communities (Zhang and Li, 2010). Fur- thermore, SOFM results were signifi cantly correlated with other common methods. This suggested that SOFM index is an effective technique in functional diversity analysis in plant communities.