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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Hart, Andrew [1], Volk, Thomas [2].

Fungal-bacterial interactioins between a wood-inhabiting Coprinellus species and a native bacterium.

Fungi and bacteria interact with a wide variety of organisms largely due to their ubiquity and diverse metabolic natures. Our research applies a simple, modified screening model to identify and characterize a novel fungal-bacterial interaction in the context of decaying wood. We have observed a Coprinellus species that produces a purple pigment when co-inoculated with certain bacteria isolated from the same decaying wood. Fungi developed the capability to degrade lignin and in turn invade woody material approximately 300 million years ago. Once fungi could penetrate the ultrastructure of wood, bacteria were given an increased opportunity over millions of years to colonize and form associations with fungi in this context. A leading factor in the development of a variety of community associations (e.g. mutualism, parasitism, competition) involves occupying the same niche over long periods of time. Until recently, little research has been performed to understand the interactions between wood-inhabiting organisms, especially relative to the many studies of soil/rhizosphere microbial interactions. Certainly there has been much research on wood, but these studies have been mostly dedicated to specific taxa or groups of related taxa. We are very interested in the microbial ecology of these woody ecosystems, including both bacteria and fungi. Of course, other organisms can also be involved, including insects and nematodes. Some of the fungal-bacterial interactions that have been reasonably well studied are the intimate lichen association and mycorrhizal-helper bacteria. Lichens consist of a fungus and either a cyanobacterium or algal symbiont wherein photosynthates are taken by the fungus while the symbiont is often merely kept viable. Mycorrhizal-helper bacteria are present in the rhizosphere and help mycorrhizae to establish and thrive on the host. By characterizing the interaction between the wood-inhabiting Coprinellus species and bacterium, we can start developing a comprehensive wood ecology. The Coprinellus species pigment is largely restricted to the submerged hyphae, occasionally depositing on the bacterial streak. The pigment is readily soluble in ethanol. Pigment production has also been observed when co-cultured with Penicillium chrysogenum. Further research will consist of thin layer chromatography, microscopy, and mass spectrometry. As we have largely mined soil interactions for useful secondary metabolites, it is only logical to employ competitive assays (co-cultures) in order to induce potential production of novel secondary metabolites. Environmental research like this is vital to gain an understanding of ecology and can indirectly add to our knowledge of human-pathogen interactions.

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1 - University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Biology, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI, 54601, USA
2 - University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 51
Location: Salon 5/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 51006
Abstract ID:1282
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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