Species of the genus Salsola belong to the family Chenopodiaceae and are associated with large saline areas in eastern Iran. The aim of the study was to isolate and characterize the endophytic and phytopathogenic fungal communities from non-mycotrophic Salsola species. Sampling was done from different parts of Salsola plants in the Birjand region in 2017 and 2018. Isolation and identification of fungal isolates were done using biological characteristics and ITS region sequences. The pathogenicity of the representative isolates was investigated by cultivating disinfected Salsola incanescens seeds under greenhouse conditions and inoculating seedlings with a fungal spore suspension from 7 day old fungal colonies on PDA media. Based on morphological and molecular data, 27 isolates from 11 fungal species were isolated and identified from Salsola tissues. Alternaria alternata, A. chlamydospora, Aspergillus terreus, Macrophomina phaseolina, Fusarium longipes, Ulocladium atrum, and Talaromyes pinophilus caused root or stem rotting and yellowing leaf of S. incanescens under greenhouse conditions. Aspergillus niger induced S. incanescens crown swelling without any pathogenicity. Clonostachys rosea, F. redolens and F. proliferatum grew as endophytic fungi on S. incanescens roots. This is the first report of phytopathogenic M. phaseolina, F. longipes, T. pinophilus, endophytic F. redolens and A. niger as a swelling agent on S. incanescens.
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
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