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The invasive fungal pathogen Cronartium ribicola infects and kills whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) throughout western North America. Whitebark pine has been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act in the USA, and the loss of this species is predicted to have severe impacts on ecosystem composition and function in high‐elevation forests. Numerous fungal endophytes live inside whitebark pine tissues and may influence the severity of C. ribicola infection, either directly by inhibition of pathogen growth or indirectly by the induction of chemical defensive pathways in the tree. Terpenes, a form of chemical defence in pine trees, can also influence disease. In this study, we characterized fungal endophyte communities in whitebark pine seedlings before and after experimental inoculation with C. ribicola, monitored disease progression and compared fungal community composition in susceptible vs. resistant seedlings in a common garden. We analysed the terpene composition of these same seedlings. Seed family identity or maternal genetics influenced both terpenes and endophyte communities. Terpene and endophyte composition correlated with disease severity, and terpene concentrations differed in resistant vs. susceptible seedlings. These results suggest that the resistance to C. ribicola observed in natural whitebark pine populations is caused by the combined effects of genetics, endophytes and terpenes within needle tissue, in which initial interactions between microbes and hosts take place. Tree genotype, terpene and microbiome combinations associated with healthy trees could help to predict or reduce disease severity and improve outcomes of future tree breeding programmes.  相似文献
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Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to exhibit high intra‐organism genetic variation. However, information about intra‐ vs. interspecific variation among the genes commonly used in diversity surveys is limited. Here, the nuclear small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region and large subunit (LSU) rRNA gene portions were sequenced from 3 to 5 individual spores from each of two isolates of Rhizophagus irregularis and Gigaspora margarita. A total of 1482 Sanger sequences (0.5 Mb) from 239 clones were obtained, spanning ~4370 bp of the ribosomal operon when concatenated. Intrasporal and intra‐isolate sequence variation was high for all three regions even though variant numbers were not exhausted by sequencing 12–40 clones per isolate. Intra‐isolate nucleotide variation levels followed the expected order of ITS > LSU > SSU, but the values were strongly dependent on isolate identity. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) densities over 4 SNP/kb in the ribosomal operon were detected in all four isolates. Automated operational taxonomic unit picking within the sequence set of known identity overestimated species richness with almost all cut‐off levels, markers and isolates. Average intraspecific sequence similarity values were 99%, 96% and 94% for amplicons in SSU, LSU and ITS, respectively. The suitability of the central part of the SSU as a marker for AM fungal community surveys was further supported by its level of nucleotide variation, which is similar to that of the ITS region; its alignability across the entire phylum; its appropriate length for next‐generation sequencing; and its ease of amplification in single‐step PCR.  相似文献
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