Achyranthes bidentata is an important traditional Chinese medicinal plant, which is less infected by mycorrhizal fungi. This study reported the endophytic fungi associated with A. bidentata growing in five cultivation sites in China. A total of 746 isolates of endophytic fungi representing 37 fungal taxa were obtained from segments of leaves, stems and roots of this plant. Anamorphic Ascomycota were the most prevalent endophytic fungi and five yeast species and a Zygomycota species were also isolated. Endophytic colonization rate was high in both leaves (74.2%) and stems (55.6%) and the two plant parts yielded same dominant endophytic fungi of Alternaria alternata and Mycosphaerella sp. While the isolation rate of A. alternate was higher in leaf samples than in stem samples, the reverse was the case for Mycosphaerella sp.. The endophytic fungal community of leaves had higher isolate richness and lower species diversity than that of stems. Only 9.4% of the root samples were infected by endophytic fungi. This is the first report of endophytic fungi associated with amaranthaceous plant in China. Environmental factors of growth stage, the adjacent vegetation and agricultural practice were thought to affect the occurrence of endophytic fungi in A. bidentata.
Key words: Alternaria alternata, Mycosphaerella, endophytic mycoflora, traditional Chinese medicine.
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