Bonito, G. et al., 2017. Mycologia

Atractiella rhizophila sp. nov., an endorrhizal fungus isolated from the Populus root microbiome

Gregory Bonito, Khalid Hameed, Merje Toome-Heller, Rosanne Healy, Chantal Reid, Hui-Ling Liao, M. Catherine Aime, Christopher Schadt, and Rytas Vilgalys
09 January 2017,,  Mycologia 109(1); 18-26; doi: 10.1080/00275514.2016.1271689


Among fungi isolated from healthy root mycobiomes of Populus, we discovered a new endorrhizal fungal species belonging to the rust lineage Pucciniomycotina, described here as Atractiella rhizophila. We characterized this species by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), phylogenetic analysis, and plant bioassay experiments. Phylogenetic sequence analysis of isolates and available environmental and reference sequences indicates that this new species, A. rhizophila, has a broad geographical and host range. Atractiella rhizophila appears to be present in North America, Australia, Asia and Africa, and is associated with trees, orchids and other agriculturally important species including soybean, corn and rice. Despite the large geographic and host range of this species sampling, A. rhizophila appears to have exceptionally low sequence variation within nuclear rDNA markers examined. With inoculation studies, we demonstrate that A. rhizophilais non-pathogenic, asymptomatically colonizes plant roots, and appears to foster plant-growth and elevated photosynthesis rates.


Bonito, G., K. Hameed, M. Toome-Heller, R. Healy, C. Reid, H.-L. Liao, M. C. Aime, C. Schadt and R. Vilgalys (2017). “Atractiella rhizophila, sp. nov., an endorrhizal fungus isolated from the Populus root microbiome.” Mycologia 109(1): 18-26.

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