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Abstract Detail

MSA - Ecology/Pathology

Herrera, Jose [1], Khidir, Hana [1], Porras-Alfaro, Andrea [2].

Fungal endophytes as coprophiles?

Several studies have characterized the fungal endophyte communities within a variety of plants and have concluded that this group of symbionts has multiple evolutionary and ecological functions within their plant hosts.  Grasses, in particular, have been shown to harbor a large and diverse fungal load in their roots.  Many of members these Root Associated Fungal (RAF) communities have been isolated from unrelated substrates and are otherwise known to fill alternate ecological niches.  For example, recent evidence has disclosed that RAF communities within Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), a native North American range grass, include many sequences belonging to fungi that have been previously ascribed as coprophilic.  Using traditional (media-based) and molecular techniques (using ITS) we sought to determine if dung plays a role in the life cycle, or serves as a mechanism for dispersal of RAF endophytes.  We assessed the microfungal communities within dung samples of native and non-native herbivores from Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM and Wind Cave National Park, SD. Molecular data from Black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus), domestic cows (Bos taurus), and bison (Bison bison) included fungal sequences related to Campanella sp., Tetrapygros sp., Preussia sp., Thelebolus sp., Ascobolus sp., and various anaerobic fungi.  Some of the Agaricales sequences also were commonly present as RAF within the roots of co-occurring forage grasses, including B. gracilis.  The ecological and evolutionary significance of these fungi will be discussed.

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1 - Truman State University, Biology, 100 E. Normal, Kirksville, MO, 63501, U.S.A.
2 - The University of New Mexico, Biolgy, 167A Castetter Hall , Albuquerque, NM, 87131 , U.S.A.

root-associated fungi
coprophilous fungi
Bouteloua gracilis.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 52
Location: Cottonwood B/Snowbird Center
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 52003
Abstract ID:273