Abstract Detail

IAPT Early Career Investigator Program: Life at the Edge

U'Ren, Jana [1], Lutzoni, Fran├žois [2], Miadlikowska, Jolanta [2], Zimmerman, Naupaka [3], Carbone, Ignazio [4], May, Georgiana [5], Arnold, A. Elizabeth [6].

Circumglobal diversity and distributions of endophytic fungi in boreal plants and lichens.

Plant-associated fungal communities are increasingly recognized for their potential to facilitate rapid adaptation of plants to novel stressors, especially within extreme environments. Long under-studied because of their cryptic occurrence in healthy above-ground tissues, fungal endophytes that occur within photosynthetic tissues of plants and in association with photosynthetic partners in lichens are emerging as key players in host health, productivity, and stress mitigation. Endophytes represent the most highly diverse fungal symbionts of photosynthetic hosts and comparative studies reveal that they reach their greatest phylogenetic diversity in high latitude ecosystems such as boreal forests, exceeding that even of tropical regions (where species richness is higher, but phylogenetic diversity is lower). Using replicated sampling of the same host species and/or genera in seven sites across the boreal biome of North America and Eurasia (20 plant and lichen species per site) in conjunction with culture-based and culture-free next-generation (NGS) amplicon sequencing, we examine whether the diversity and distributions of endophyte communities in the boreal realm reflect deterministic processes such as host- and environmental filtering or neutral processes such as dispersal and drift. Overall, we recovered >6,000 putative endophyte species using culture-free NGS paired with Sanger sequencing of >11,000 cultures. Endophyte richness based on culturing and NGS were significantly correlated, and both methods recovered the same classes and families of Ascomycota. Repeated sampling of a focal sampling site in Alaska illustrates the previously unexplored temporal stability of boreal endophyte communities, with a particularly high stability in long-lived lichen thalli. In describing global-scale patterns of endophyte host associations across phylogenetically diverse plants and lichens, this work represents a critical baseline to understand how local and regional extirpation of plants and lichens due to climate change will impact endophyte diversity and functions in the boreal biome.

1 - University of Arizona, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA
2 - Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
3 - University of San Francisco, Department of Biology, San Francisco, CA, 94117, USA
4 - North Carolina State University, Center for Integrated Fungal Research, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Durham, NC, 27695, USA
5 - University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavio, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA
6 - University of Arizona, School of Plant Sciences and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA

fungal endophyte
endolichenic fungi
Plant microbiomes.

Presentation Type: Special Sessions
Number: 0006
Abstract ID:862
Candidate for Awards:None

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