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Free Content Sclerotium-forming fungi from soils of the Atlantic rainforest of Northeastern Brazil

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Background and aims – Many South American ecosystems remain unexplored and neglected as to the occurrence and distribution of fungi. Data about occurrence of sporocarp forming hypogeous fungi in Atlantic rainforests and Caatinga biome are even less frequently published. For this reason, intensive studies on this group are needed. During studies of hypogeous sequestrate fungi in Northeastern Brazil several sclerotium-like structures were encountered in soil and here determined based on phylogenetic affiliation.

Methods – The fungal structures in soils were sampled by raking the litter and top soil organic layer at four different forest sites, all located in the Atlantic rainforest or in the 'brejo de altitude' (upland wet forest enclaves) of the Atlantic rainforest remnants within the Caatinga biome. Samples were studied by optical microscopy and molecular analyses. Internal Transcribed Spacer of nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS nrDNA) sequences (barcoding of fungi) were used to identify some selected specimens.

Key results – Among the nine sclerotium samples, four were related to the /trechisporales lineage, three related to /entolomataceae, and two to the /amylocorticiales lineages.

Conclusions – This study provides new information about sclerotium-forming fungi occurring naturally in soils and litter layers from native Atlantic rainforests in Brazil. It is a starting point for more detailed and systematic studies planned for epigeous and hypogeous sequestrate fungi. Such studies are needed to understand the distribution, evolutionary affiliations and trophic modes of those fungi.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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