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"Mini-community" simulation revealed the differences of endophytic fungal communities between the above- and below-ground tissues of Ephedra sinica Stapf.

The microecology of endophytic fungi in special habitats, such as the interior of different tissues from a medicinal plant, and its effects on the formation of metabolites with different biological activities are of great importance. However, the factors affecting fungal community formation are unclear. This study is the first to utilize "mini-community" remodeling to understand the above phenomena. First, high-throughput sequencing technology was applied to explore the community composition and diversity of endophytic fungi in the above-ground tissues (Ea) and below-ground tissues (Eb) of Ephedra sinica. Second, fungi were obtained through culture-dependent technology and used for "mini-community" remodeling invitro. Then, the effects of environmental factors, partner fungi, and plant tissue fluid (internal environment) on endophytic fungal community formation were discussed. Results showed that environmental factors played a decisive role in the selection of endophytic fungi, that is, in Ea and Eb, 93.8% and 25.3% of endophytic fungi were halophilic, respectively, and 10.6% and 60.2% fungi were sensitive to high temperature (33°C), respectively. Meanwhile, pH had little effect on fungal communities. The internal environment of the plant host further promoted the formation of endophytic fungal communities.

Fungal microbiota isolated from native stingless bee species inhibited pathogens of Apis mellifera.

Social bees can establish interactions with microorganisms to keep their colonies free of pathogens and parasites by developing different protection strategies. We explored the fungal microbiota isolated from three species of stingless bees, Tetragonisca fiebrigi, Plebeias sp., and Scaptotrigona jujuyensis, and its potential ability to suppress pathogenic microorganisms of A.mellifera, namely Paenibacillus larvae, Ascosphaera apis and Aspergillus flavus, which were tested and evaluated. Six filamentous fungal strains, Trametes hirsuta, Alternaria alternata, Curvularia spicifera, Skeletocutis sp., Alternaria tenuissima, Monascus spp., as well as the yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus, were selected for trials and isolated from the heads of foraging bees. The fungal strains were identified by macroscopic and microscopic taxonomic characteristics and by sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of ribosomal DNA. All fungal strains inhibited these pathogens of A.mellifera. We also evaluated the effect of the secondary metabolites extracted with and without ethanol. Both metabolites showed antimicrobial properties, and our results suggest that fungi isolated from stingless bees produce bioactive compounds with antibacterial and antifungal effects that could be used to treat Apis mellifera colony diseases and maintain colony health.

Systematic screening strategy for fungal laccase activity of endophytes from Otoba gracilipes with bioremediation potential.

Fungal laccases are promising for biotechnological applications, including bioremediation and dye biotransformation, due to their high redox potential and broad substrate specificity. However, current bioprospecting methods for identifying laccase-producing fungi can be challenging and time-consuming. For early detection, it was developed a three-step, multi-criteria weighting system that evaluates fungal strains based on: First, the biotransformation capacity of three dyes (i.e., Congo red, brilliant blue G-250, and malachite green), at three different pH values, and with a relative weighting supported for the redox potential of each colorant. The relative decolorization coefficient (RDC), used as th2e first classification criterion, expressed their potential performance. Second, under the same conditions, laccase activity was estimated by observing the different degrees of oxidation of a given substrate. The selection criterion was the relative oxidation coefficient (ROC). Finally, laccase activity was quantified in submerged fermentations using three inducers (i.e., loofah sponge, Tween 80, and veratyl alcohol). This multicriteria screening strategy evaluated sixteen isolated endophytic fungal strains from Otoba gracilipes. The system identified Beltraniopsis sp. ET-17 (at pH values of 5.00 and 5.50) as a promising strain for dye biotransformation, and Phlebia floridensis as the best laccase producer, achieving a high activity of 116μmolmin-1 L-1 with loofah sponge as an inducer. In-vitro testing confirmed the efficacy of P.floridensis, with 53.61% decolorization of a dye mixture (brilliant blue-Congo red. ratio 1:1) after 15 days of incubation. Thus, with the proposed screening strategy it was possible to highlight two species of interest at an early bioprospecting stage on a Colombian native tree poorly explored.

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