Research Article

Investigation of mycoviruses in endophytic and phytopathogenic strains of Colletotrichum from different hosts

Published: February 26, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(1): gmr7651 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15017651

Abstract

Fungi belonging to the Colletotrichum genus can be categorized as endophytic or phytopathogenic. These fungi can be infected by viruses, termed mycoviruses, which are know to promote hypovirulence in infected fungi. However, there are few studies that have described mycoviral infections of endophytes. The production of secondary metabolites by endophytes with antimicrobial potential in inhibiting numerous pathogens has gained increasing attention. The aim of the current study was to investigate the presence of mycoviruses in endophytic and phytopathogenic fungi of the Colletotrichum genus, as well as to analyze the antimicrobial activity of crude extracts obtained from these samples. To detect the presence of mycoviruses in the samples, dsRNA was extracted, treated with enzymes, and analyzed following electrophoresis in agarose gel. Furthermore, isometric mycoviral particles were observed by transmission electron microscopy. Serial microdilution methodology was used to test crude extracts of Colletotrichum spp for antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and antifungal activity against Fusarium solani. The results of the molecular and microscopic analyses indicated that a phytopathogenic strain presented infection by mycovirus. The antibacterial activity analysis revealed that the minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimum bactericidal concentrations were low for the fungal extracts of the two endophytes, indicating that these extracts were effective antibacterial agents. However, their antifungal activity against F. solani was not statistically different compared to that of the negative control.

Fungi belonging to the Colletotrichum genus can be categorized as endophytic or phytopathogenic. These fungi can be infected by viruses, termed mycoviruses, which are know to promote hypovirulence in infected fungi. However, there are few studies that have described mycoviral infections of endophytes. The production of secondary metabolites by endophytes with antimicrobial potential in inhibiting numerous pathogens has gained increasing attention. The aim of the current study was to investigate the presence of mycoviruses in endophytic and phytopathogenic fungi of the Colletotrichum genus, as well as to analyze the antimicrobial activity of crude extracts obtained from these samples. To detect the presence of mycoviruses in the samples, dsRNA was extracted, treated with enzymes, and analyzed following electrophoresis in agarose gel. Furthermore, isometric mycoviral particles were observed by transmission electron microscopy. Serial microdilution methodology was used to test crude extracts of Colletotrichum spp for antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and antifungal activity against Fusarium solani. The results of the molecular and microscopic analyses indicated that a phytopathogenic strain presented infection by mycovirus. The antibacterial activity analysis revealed that the minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimum bactericidal concentrations were low for the fungal extracts of the two endophytes, indicating that these extracts were effective antibacterial agents. However, their antifungal activity against F. solani was not statistically different compared to that of the negative control.