Data from: Genotypic diversity in root-endophytic fungi reflects efficient dispersal and environmental adaptation
Glynou, Kyriaki et al. (2017), Data from: Genotypic diversity in root-endophytic fungi reflects efficient dispersal and environmental adaptation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bh6k6
Studying community structure and dynamics of plant-associated fungi is the basis for unravelling their interactions with hosts and ecosystem functions. A recent sampling revealed that only a few fungal groups, as defined by internal transcribed spacer region (ITS) sequence similarity, dominate culturable root endophytic communities of nonmycorrhizal Microthlaspi spp. plants across Europe. Strains of these fungi display a broad phenotypic and functional diversity, which suggests a genetic variability masked by ITS clustering into operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The aims of this study were to identify how genetic similarity patterns of these fungi change across environments and to evaluate their ability to disperse and adapt to ecological conditions. A first ITS-based haplotype analysis of ten widespread OTUs mostly showed a low to moderate genotypic differentiation, with the exception of a group identified as Cadophora sp. that was highly diverse. A multilocus phylogeny based on additional genetic loci (partial translation elongation factor 1α, beta-tubulin and actin) and amplified fragment length polymorphism profiling of 185 strains representative of the five dominant OTUs revealed a weak association of genetic differences with geography and environmental conditions, including bioclimatic and soil factors. Our findings suggest that dominant culturable root endophytic fungi have efficient dispersal capabilities, and that their distribution is little affected by environmental filtering. Other processes, such as inter- and intraspecific biotic interactions, may be more important for the local assembly of their communities.