Preliminary investigation on the endophytic communities in Olea europaea L. in Sicily
Abstract: An investigation was carried out in order to study the composition of the endophytic community of olive (Olea europaea L.) in Sicily (Italy). One olive-yard in San Cipirello (Palermo) and another one in Racalmuto (Agrigento) were sampled, similar for plant age, cultivars and agricultural management. Isolation assays were carried out on samples collected from each locality in spring, summer and autumn during both 2007 and 2008.Numbers of fungal and bacterial isolates differed between the sampled sites. Prevailing fungal genera in almost all samplings were Alternaria, Cladosporium, Diplodia, Phoma, Septoria, Stemphylium and its teleomorph Pleospora. Isolation frequencies were dependent on the sampling site. Our preliminary results show a constant composition of endophytic assemblage of O. europaea in Sicily, even if the degree of infection varies depending on both geographical and environmental factors. Further studies will be carried out in order to complete fungal and bacterial identification and to analyse the interactions between endophytes, host and environment.