Khidir, Hana , Porras-Alfaro, Andrea , Herrera, Jose , Eudy, Douglas , Sinsabaugh, Robert , Natvig, Donald .
Transcontinental patterns of root-associated fungal communities colonizing a dominant grass, Bouteloua gracilis.
Symbiotic associations among fungi and plants play a fundamental role in the evolution and establishment of plants within terrestrial ecosystems. Few studies, however, have undertaken a geographic assessment of microfungal communities that colonize roots of grassland plants. We studied the geographic distribution of root-associated fungal (RAF) communities at a transcontinental scale within a single host: Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama). This study was undertaken as part of a larger comprehensive inventory of grass-associated fungal communities at different scales: different plant organs, grass species, and ecosystems. We collected more than 3000 sequences from environmental samples using fungal-specific primers and microscopically assessed >150 individual roots from >60 plants from six sites across the latitudinal range of B. gracilis. The fungal load within roots was generally high but variable, and dominated by Dark Septate Endophytes (DSE). Furthermore, the composition of the fungal communities generally varied and was dominated by several closely related members of the Agaricales and Pleosporales. These taxonomic groups colonized roots at all study sites, but their abundances varied with latitude. Most other members of the RAF community were ephemeral or were observed inconsistently within a few plants. Nevertheless, fungal community similarity was strongly and negatively correlated with intersite distance.
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1 - The University of New Mexico, Biolgy, 167A Castetter Hall , Albuquerque, NM, 87131 , U.S.A.
2 - Truman State University, Biology, 100 E. Normal, Kirksville, MO, 63501, U.S.A.
3 - The University of New Mexico, Biology, 167A Castetter Hall , Albuquerque, NM, 87131 , U.S.A.
dark septate endophytes
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Cottonwood B/Snowbird Center
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2009
Time: 1:00 PM