Presentation Title

Plants, Fungi, and Freeloaders: Examining Fungal Species Richness in A. americanum Throughout its Growing Season

Presenter Information

Lucas Hampel

Location

House of Learning Library, 3rd floor

Start Date

18-3-2016 12:00 PM

End Date

18-3-2016 6:00 PM

Abstract

Arceuthobium americanum, or the lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe, is a tree parasite in Northern Canada. The plant has had a negativel impact on the lumber industry, causing significant financial losses in the forest sector in the locations where it thrives. Recently, endophytic fungi have been found in A. americanum and were discovered to function in protecting the plant from surface pathogens. The current study aimed to examine the endophytic fungi more in-depth by using isolation of the fungi in pure culture and genetic sequencing. The project explored the endophyte communities within A. americanum, examining changes in species richness over the plant’s growing season, and whether or not changes in richness differed between males and females. Through the project, it was revealed that fungal species richness was found to increase in both the male and female plants throughout the growing season, and that each sex housed a high diversity of fungi from many groups. This information could yield a new management strategy, which would involve applying a surface pathogen spray at a time when the endophytic fungal diversity is lower and the plant is presumably more susceptible to pathogens.

Department

Biological Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Cynthia Ross Friedman

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Mar 18th, 12:00 PM Mar 18th, 6:00 PM

Plants, Fungi, and Freeloaders: Examining Fungal Species Richness in A. americanum Throughout its Growing Season

House of Learning Library, 3rd floor

Arceuthobium americanum, or the lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe, is a tree parasite in Northern Canada. The plant has had a negativel impact on the lumber industry, causing significant financial losses in the forest sector in the locations where it thrives. Recently, endophytic fungi have been found in A. americanum and were discovered to function in protecting the plant from surface pathogens. The current study aimed to examine the endophytic fungi more in-depth by using isolation of the fungi in pure culture and genetic sequencing. The project explored the endophyte communities within A. americanum, examining changes in species richness over the plant’s growing season, and whether or not changes in richness differed between males and females. Through the project, it was revealed that fungal species richness was found to increase in both the male and female plants throughout the growing season, and that each sex housed a high diversity of fungi from many groups. This information could yield a new management strategy, which would involve applying a surface pathogen spray at a time when the endophytic fungal diversity is lower and the plant is presumably more susceptible to pathogens.