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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Moler, Ehren Reid Von [1], Reinhardt, Keith [1], Aho, Ken [1].

Whitebark Pine, Fungal Endophytes, and the White Pine Blister Rust Disease.

Whitebark pine trees (Pinus albicaulis) are restricted to montane habitats in north-western North America. Fungal infection by white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) has exacerbated the impacts of other biotic and abiotic stressors, and accelerated mortality within whitebark populations across the species’ range. Loss of this keystone species increases soil erosion rates, alters the timing and duration of snowmelt, eliminates an important food source for numerous montane and alpine animals, and precludes other plants from colonizing otherwise unsheltered sub-alpine terrain. Enhanced resistance of whitebark pine to white pine blister rust is crucial to maintaining the biodiversity and stability of northwestern American mountain ecosystems.
Fungal endophyte research has long centered on enhancing host-plant resistance to pathogens and drought through controlled inoculations with specific fungal isolates. This study uses next-generation sequencing to 1) describe native foliar fungal endophytic communities in whitebark pine needles from the southern Cascade mountains in Oregon, USA, and 2) determine the efficacy of an inoculation trial on whitebark seedlings at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Metagenomic amplicon sequence libraries of the ITS1 region of nuclear rDNA were prepared from DNA extracted from whitebark needles and analyzed for patterns between endophytic community characteristics, inoculation success, and host tree rust infection. Results from this study may suggest that controlled inoculations are complementary to plant breeding approaches for increasing the resistance of P. albicaulis to white pine blister rust infection.

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1 - Idaho State University, Biological Sciences, 921 S. 8th Ave, Mail Stop 8007, Pocatello, ID, 83209-8007, USA

fungal endophyte
whitebark pine
white pine blister rust
High-throughput Sequencing
Pinus albicaulis.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PSB006
Abstract ID:332
Candidate for Awards:None

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