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Muscodor ghoomensis and Muscodor indica: new endophytic species based on morphological features and molecular and volatile organic analysis from Northeast India

Vineet Meshram, Mahiti Gupta and Sanjai Saxena

Sydowia 67: 133–146

Muscodor ghoomensis and Muscodor indica are described as new species, living within the internal tissues of Cinnamomum camphora stems growing in Ghoom monastery, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. These fungi possess a fruity smell, lack reproductive structures, form pale yellow colored colonies with radial crevices on potato dextrose agar. Muscodor ghoomensis has a sterile ropy mycelium with clustered structures resembling grapes while M. indica formed sterile submerged mycelium that formed coils. Phylogenetic analysis based on ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 regions indicated significant differences from previously reported Muscodor species indicating their novelty. The characteristic smell of M. ghoomensis and M. indica is attributed to a blend of 16 and 21 volatile organic compounds produced by the fungi. The predominant volatiles produced by these fungi are 4-octadecylmorpholine; 1, 6-dioxacyclododecane-7, 12-dione, 1,4-dimethyl-7-prop-1-en-2-yl-2,3,3a,5,6,7,8,8a-octahydro-1H-azulen-4-ol and squalene identified using GC/MS. Based on their unique morphological, molecular and volatile chemoprofiles, M. ghoomensis and M. indica are new additions to the genus Muscodor. Further, the volatiles produced by these fungi have potential application as fumigants against plant and human pathogens.

Keywords: Cinnamomum camphora, endophyte, sterile fungi, volatile organic compounds.

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