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Abstract Detail

Mycological Section

Luo, Jing [1], Miller, Stephen [1], Walsh, Emily [1], Bonos, Stacy [1], Helsel, Zane [1], Bhattacharya, Debashish [2], Zhang, Ning [1].

Anything But Barren: Fungal Diversity and Functions in the Pine Barrens.

Pine barrens is a unique ecosystem that has acidic and nutrient-poor soils, where switchgrass and other stress tolerant species are dominant understory plants. Our results indicate that grass (Poaceae) roots in the pine barrens ecosystem are one of the major reservoirs of novel fungi with about 47% being undescribed species. Importantly, we observed that Acidomelania panicicola (Leotiomycetes), a new genus and species we described from switchgrass in the New Jersey Pine Barrens significantly increases root hair growth of switchgrass and rice plants in acidic and low nutrient conditions. We also described another new genus Pseudophialophora (Magnaporthales, Sordariomycetes) that contains several pathogenic species. Naming and description of a number of other new fungal taxa are in progress. In addition, we compared the root fungal community between the wild switchgrass from the New Jersey Pine Barrens and cultivated switchgrass in managed farms using both culture and metagenomic methods. A custom pipeline was developed to analyze the Illumina metagenomic data. Both methods suggest that Leotiomycetes are dominant fungi in the switchgrass roots from the nutrient poor pine barrens soils, while Sordariomycetes are dominant in the roots growing in the rich farm soils. More plant-fungal interaction experiments are being conducted in various conditions in order to test our hypothesis that Acidomelania and other similar dark septate endophytes in Leotiomycetes play a role in increasing plant tolerance to abiotic stresses (e.g., low pH, low nutrients, drought) and contribute to improved establishment and persistence in acidic, poor soils. Results from this work will facilitate ecological and evolutionary studies on root-associated fungi.

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1 - Rutgers University, Plant Biology and Pathology
2 - Rutgers University, Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources

dark septate endophyte
root growth
Growth promotion
pine barrens
stress tolerance.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PMY016
Abstract ID:248
Candidate for Awards:None

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