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Microb Ecol DOI 10 1007 s00248 010 9698 2 PLANT MICROBE INTERACTIONS Community Analysis Reveals Close Affinities Between Endophytic and Endolichenic Fungi in Mosses and Lichens Jana M U Ren Fran ois Lutzoni Jolanta Miadlikowska A Elizabeth Arnold Received 29 January 2010 Accepted 2 June 2010 Springer Science Business Media LLC 2010 Abstract Endolichenic fungi live in close association with algal photobionts inside asymptomatic lichen thalli and resemble fungal endophytes of plants in terms of taxonomy diversity transmission mode and evolutionary history This similarity has led to uncertainty regarding the distinctiveness of endolichenic fungi compared with endophytes Here we evaluate whether these fungi represent distinct ecological guilds or a single guild of flexible symbiotrophs capable of colonizing plants or lichens indiscriminately Culturable fungi were sampled exhaustively from replicate sets of phylogenetically diverse plants and lichens in three microsites in a montane forest in southeastern Arizona USA Intensive sampling combined with a small spatial scale permitted us to decouple spatial heterogeneity from host association and to sample communities from living leaves dead leaves and lichen thalli to statistical completion Characterization using data from the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer and partial large subunit ITS LSU rDNA provided a first estimation of host and substrate use for 960 isolates representing five classes and approximately 16 orders 32 families and 65 genera of Pezizomycotina We found that fungal communities differ at a broad taxonomic level as a function of the phylogenetic placement of their plant or lichen Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article doi 10 1007 s00248 010 9698 2 contains supplementary material which is available to authorized users J M U Ren A E Arnold Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology School of Plant Sciences University of Arizona Tucson AZ 85721 USA e mail arnold ag

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