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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2024

Fungal Communities Associated with Siricid Wood Wasps: Focus on Sirex juvencus, Urocerus gigas, and Tremex fuscicornis

Marciulynas, Adas; Lynikiene, Jurate; Gedminas, Arturas; Povilaitiene, Aiste; Menkis, Audrius

Abstract

We investigated the diversity and occurrence of wood wasps in Lithuania and determined communities of associated fungi. Trapping of wood wasps resulted in three different species, including Sirex juvencus, Urocerus gigas, and Tremex fuscicornis. Fungal culturing from adult females of T. fuscicornis mainly resulted in fungi from the genera Penicillium and Trichoderma. High-throughput sequencing of ITS2 rDNA resulted in 59,797 high-quality fungal sequences, representing 127 fungal OTUs. There were 93 fungal OTUs detected in U. gigas, 66 in S. juvencus, and 10 in T. fuscicornis. The most common fungi were Fusarium sporotrichioides (63.1% of all fungal sequences), Amylostereum chailletii (14.9%), Penicillium crustosum (7.8%), Microascus sp. 2261_4 (5.0%), and Pithoascus ater (2.1%). Among these, only A. chailletii was found in all three insect species with the highest relative abundance in U. gigas (15.2%), followed by S. juvencus (7.7%), and the lowest in T. fuscicornis (0.3%) (p < 0.0003). Correspondence analysis of fungal communities showed a distant placement of different species of wood wasps, indicating that fungal communities in each of these were largely different. In conclusion, the study showed that the economically important tree pathogen A. chailletii was among the most common fungal OTUs associated with siricid wood wasps.

Keywords

insect pests; fungal diseases; symbiosis; biological invasion

Published in

Insects
2024, Volume: 15, number: 1, article number: 49