Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 729-737.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2016.0270

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Diversity of dark septate endophyte in the roots of Ammopiptanthus mongolicus and its companion plants

Qian SUN, Zi-Ke XUE, Lin-Lin XIE, Xue-Li HE*(), Li-Li ZHAO   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Hebei University, Baoding, Hebei 071002, China
  • Received:2016-08-29 Accepted:2017-04-05 Online:2017-07-10 Published:2017-08-21
  • Contact: Xue-Li HE
  • About author:

    KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims Dark septate endophytes (DSE) extensively colonize in plant root tissues in different ecosystems. However, our understanding of the ecological significance of DSE in semiarid and arid lands is limited. The main objective of this study was to compare the community composition and species diversity of DSE in Ammopiptanthus mongolicus and its companion plants in desert habitats. Methods Healthy root samples of Ammopiptanthus mongolicus’s companion plants, Artemisia desertorum, Caragana rosea, Nitraria tangutorum and Caragana korshinskii, were collected separately from four main locations of Ammopiptanthus mongolicus plantation in Dengkou of Nei Mongol, Minqin of Gansu, Yinchuan and Shapotou of Ningxia in July 2013. Important findings A total of 103 strains belonging to seven species (i.e Alternaria, Curvularia, Embellisia, Phialocephala, Phoma, Podospora and Pleosporales) of DSE were isolated from the four types of companion plants by means of morphological identification and molecular identification. Among the seven genera, Alternaria, Embellisia, Curvularia and Podospora are found for the first time in desert ecosystems. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus and its companion plants at the same site had significantly different community composition of DSE. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus and its companion plants at different sites had significantly different DSE diversity index. The colonization and species richness of DSE, especially the species and the quantity of spores were higher in roots of Ammopiptanthus mongolicus than in its companion plants. This study supports the results that DSE can form a better symbiotic relationship with the roots of Ammopiptanthus mongolicus than with its companion plants, and can enhance the ecological adaptability of Ammopiptanthus mongolicus to the extreme desert environment.

Key words: dark septate endophyte, community composition, species diversity, Ammopiptanthus mongolicus, companion plants