Home • Periconia macrospinosa DSE2036 v1.0
Periconia macrospinosa
Photo credit: Dániel G. Knapp and Gábor M. Kovács

The anamorphic ascomycete species Periconia macrospinosa belongs to the diverse order Pleosporales (Dothideomycetes). Pleosporales contains several plant symbiotic taxa, among them several lineages of root endophytes. According to our present knowledge Periconia macrospinosa is a "dark septate endophytic" (DSE) fungus. DSE fungi are found worldwide and comprise a group of root-colonizing endophytes that belong to several ascomycete orders. Periconia macrospinosa is one of the most frequent, common and general members of the DSE community of semiarid grasslands; the fungus shows a kind of tendency to grass hosts. The DSE fungi seem to have important role in stressful environments and are frequent in semiarid ecosystems like e.g. the sandy grasslands representing the westernmost parts of the Eurasian steppe-belt (the original locality of the strain P. macrospinosa sp. DSE2036) and the prairie ecosystems of North America. The role of the DSE fungi in the ecosystem functioning is still elusive; their interaction with plants is not as well understood as that of the common mycorrhizae. Moreover, DSE fungi colonize nonmycorrhizal plants, like e.g. the members of mustard family including rapeseed an important biodiesel fuel. Periconia macrospinosa strains are used in symbiotic experiments with Arabidopsis thaliana. We may assume that DSE fungi represent a special plant-fungus interaction and their comparison with other symbiotic fungi might help us to understand better carbon cycling and ecosystem functioning.

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