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Abstract Detail

Mycological Section

Deaver, Noland [1], Hesse, Cedar Nelson [2], Kuske, Cheryl R. [2], Porras-Alfaro, Andrea [3].

Entomopathogenic Fungal Communities in Different Horizons of a Temperate Pine Forest Soil.

The goal of this study is to use direct isolation of cultures, bioassays, and Illumina sequencing to elucidate how patterns of entomopathogenic fungal diversity are influenced by soil depth, elevated CO2, and N deposition. Entomopathogenic fungi cause disease in insects, and as such have generated interest for their possible applications in the biological control of agricultural pests. However, past studies on the diversity of these fungi have focused largely on only a few taxa (e.g., Metarhizium, Isaria, and Beauveria), most often in agricultural soils. Soil samples used in this study were collected in the Duke Forest in North Carolina. This site is a temperate loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest, and its soil is primarily an acidic clay loam. Sterilized and living insect parts used as baits were placed in moist soil samples. In addition, soil samples were diluted and placed on a selective medium containing cycloheximide, chloramphenicol, and thiabendazole. Fungi isolated from insect segments and selective media were cultured on Sabouraud Dextrose Agar and were identified by sequencing the ITS, LSU and SSU rDNA regions. The fungi currently identified represent three phyla: Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and Zygomycota. A total of 42 unique OTUs were identified. Dominant orders include Hypocreales, Mucorales, and Mortierellales, with Trichoderma, Mucor, and Mortierella as the dominant genera, respectively. Several taxa representing known entomopathogens were identified, and include Lecanicillium, Verticillium, and Paecilomyces. Sequence data will be compared with Illumina sequence data from the same site to better understand the distribution, relative abundance, and ecology of entomopathogenic fungi in different soil horizons. Chitinolytic activity assays showed that 80% of the isolates can use chitin as a sole carbon source. By combining next-generation sequence datasets, bioassays, and phylogenetic analyses, this project will provide unique insights about the diversity, spatial distribution, and ecological function of these fungi from a natural ecosystem.

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1 - Western Illinois University, Biological Sciences, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL, 61455, USA
2 - Los Alamos National Laboratory, Bikini Atoll Rd., SM 30, Los Alamos, NM, 87545, USA
3 - Western Illinois University, Biology, Waggoner Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL, 61455, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 67
Location: Salon 1/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 67006
Abstract ID:885
Candidate for Awards:MSA Best Oral Presentation Award by a Graduate Student

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