Bacterial endosymbionts: Master modulators of fungal phenotypes

Sarah J. Araldi-Brondolo, Joseph Spraker, Justin P. Shaffer, Emma H. Woytenko, David A. Baltrus, Rachel E. Gallery, A. Elizabeth Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The ecological modes of fungi are shaped not only by their intrinsic features and the environment in which they occur, but also by their interactions with diverse microbes. Here we explore the ecological and genomic features of diverse bacterial endosymbionts-endohyphal bacteria-that together are emerging as major determinants of fungal phenotypes and plant-fungi interactions. We first provide a historical perspective on the study of endohyphal bacteria. We then propose a functional classification of three main groups, providing an overview of their genomic, phylogenetic, and ecological traits. Last, we explore frontiers in the study of endohyphal bacteria, with special attention to those facultative and horizontally transmitted bacteria that associate with some of the most diverse lineages of fungi. Overall, our aim is to synthesize the rich literature from nearly 50 years of studies on endohyphal bacteria as a means to highlight potential applications and new research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberFUNK-0056-2016
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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