The influence of the endophytic fungi on the herbivores from Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae)

Yumi Oki, Núbia Soares, Michel Stórquio Belmiro, Ary Corrêa Junior, G. Wilson Fernandes


Endophytic fungi have an important role in the mediation of the plant-herbivores, plantpathogens and plant-environment interaction. To understand the interaction between endophytic fungi and Baccharis dracunculifolia (Asteraceae) and these with the herbivores, the following hypotheses were investigated: (i) the number of endophytic morphospecies (richness) increases with leaf age; (ii) the richness of endophytes varies with seasonality; (iii) the richness of endophytes varies with the plant gender; (iv) there is negative correlation between the richness of endophytes and richness of herbivores; and (v) there is negative correlation between the richness of endophytes and abundance of herbivores. Monthly, the leaves of B. dracunculifolia were collected in Estação Ecológica da UFMG from October, 2006 to August, 2007. In total, we found eight endophytic morphospecies, a low number when compared to the results found in other study in the same plant species. Mature leaves had higher richness, mainly during the wet season. In relation to gender, the richness was equal. It was also observed that the richness of endophytes found in leaves did not influence the richness and abundance of herbivores. All the results of this work indicated that the environment has fundamental role in the determination of the endophytic community and in the Baccharis-herbivores interaction.

Key words: Baccharis, Cerrado, endophytic fungi, herbivores, Asteraceae.

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ISSN: 2236-3777 - Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox

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