Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Schuessler, Alexandra [1], Gehring, Catherine [2], Hull, Julia [3], Deckert, Ron [4].

The Role Dark Septate Endophytes Play in the Success of Tamarix spp.

Most terrestrial plants form mutualistic relationships with fungi that improve access to soil resources and increase plant growth. Tamarix spp. (tamarisk) are not known to host the most common of these relationships, the mycorrhiza, however, they associate with dark septate endophytes (DSE), which are also found in roots. The ecological role of DSE is not well understood. This study characterized the common DSE found in tamarisk and examined the influence of two of those taxa on tamarisk growth using a greenhouse experiment, that compared the growth of tamarisk cuttings that were inoculated with DSE to sterile inoculated controls. Phomopsis and Pleosporales were selected as inoculum as they are known DSE and were found on roots from the field. We hypothesize that the fungal inoculum will increase the tamarisk dry biomass, demonstrating a beneficial relationship between the plants and fungi. After a growth period of three months the plants were harvested. Dry mass did not show a significant difference between treatments as expected. However, there was a significant positive relationship between flowering plants and dry mass. The wet mass of Phomopsis was 2.12g larger than both the Pleosporales and the Control. This may indicate that Phomopsis benefits tamarisk growth. Understanding these interactions may help to shed light on how tamarisk is changing riparian communities on the Colorado Plateau. 

1 - Northern Arizona University, Department of Biological Sciences, 404 Santa Fe W, apt 102, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, United States
2 - Northern Arizona University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 617 S Beaver Street, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011, United States
3 - Botany, 2108 W 2075 N, Clinton, UT, 84015, United States
4 - Northern Arizona University, Department of Biological Sciences, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, United States

Dark Septate Endophyte
Invase plant species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0003
Abstract ID:434
Candidate for Awards:None

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