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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Thomas, Daniel [1], Vandegrift, Roo [2], Carroll, George [3], Ju, Yu-Ming [4], Hsieh, Huei-Mei [4], Roy, Bitty A. [5].

Shifting alliances: tracking changes in fungal endophyte community compositon across hosts and habitats in one cloud forest reserve in northern Taiwan.

Fungal endophytes have been shown to be diverse and important to host plant health. While relatively few “silver bullet” fungal species have been found in the plant microbiome, communities of endophytes as a whole are thought to play an emergent role in plant health, in much the same way as the human gut microbiome. Given their importance, some fidelity in relationships between plant host and microbe symbionts is expected. Theory further suggests that host preference should correlate with host abundance. In tropical forests, however, individual endophyte species often display little or no host preference. Here we use community analysis to look for emergent patterns: Do endophyte communities as a whole display host specificity more than individual species? If so, how unique to host are these assemblages, and how stable are they to changes in habitat? Are these communities locally unique, or are they defined by environmental pressures, or host abundance? Modern sequencing and computing technologies are allowing us to begin to address these questions. We sampled foliar endophytes from diverse hosts across a 25 ha.2 area at Fushan Botanical Reserve in northern Taiwan, in 133 different plots representing a range of hosts and habitat types. We employed ITS-region DNA metabarcoding and Illumina-platform sequencing to generate community sequence libraries of foliar endophytes. Initial analysis reveals some host-specificity in assemblages of fungal foliar endophytes. We use co-occurrence network analysis to further identify modules of closely associated fungal endophyte species from among thousands of OTUs, and examine patterns of read abundances among these to gain an initial understanding of types of interactions. Host preference is examined as a function of host abundance. In addition, we compare communities from among sites of different environmental conditions to determine stability of these associations of endophytes in response to changing environmental pressures.

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1 - Institute of Ecology and Evolution , Biology, 335 Pacific Hall, 5289 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403-5289, USA
2 - Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Biology, 335 Pacific Hall
3 - Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Biology, 335 Pacific Hall, 5289 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403, USA
4 - Institute of Plant and Microbe Sciences, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei, Taipei, 115, Taiwan
5 - University of Oregon, Institute for Ecology & Evolution, 5289 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403, USA

fungal endophytes
Community Assembly
co-occurrence networks.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 51
Location: Salon 5/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 51004
Abstract ID:1328
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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