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Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Porras-Alfaro, Andrea [1], Ah Young, Andrew [1], Jenks, Alexander B. [1], Talbot, Ashley H. [1], Ford, Paulette L. [2], Plaut, Jenniffer A. [1], Pockman, William [1], Yepez, Enrico [3], Hill, Judson [4], McDowell, Nate [5], Natvig, Donald [1].

Piñon massive deaths in New Mexico: Bark beetle-bacteria-fungal symbioses.

Drought-related bark beetle outbreaks have been considered responsible for tree mortality in piñon-juniper woodlands in the Southwest. While efforts to alleviate piñon loss have focused on controlling bark beetle infestation, very little attention has been paid to the potential role of bark-beetle-associated fungi. Our main goal was to study tree-associated fungal communities and their interactions with fungal pathogens that may play a catalytic role in piñon mortality under drought conditions. Samples were collected from long-term experimental drought, irrigation and control plots at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. A total of 55 piñons (P. edulis) were cored and 617 core segments were surface sterilized and plated. Approximately 20 bark beetles including adults, larvae and pupae were also collected. Beetles and cores were plated on 2% MEA. DNA from fungal isolates was extracted, amplified, and sequenced using fungal specific nrITS primers. Symbiotic bacteria were also isolated from Ophiostomatoid fungi and identified using 16S rDNA primers. More than 200 cultures were isolated from bark beetles and cores. Approximately 22% of the cores were colonized by fungi including close relatives of Nectria, Alternaria, Preussia, Penicillium and Truncatella. Ophiostoma montium and O. minus, blue stain fungi, were detected multiple times on dead or dying trees, and the presence of bark beetles was confirmed. A large number of Ophiostomatoid fruiting bodies were observed in beetle galleries. The majority of fungi isolated from bark beetles were Ophiostoma montium and Graphium sp. The majority of Ophiostoma isolates were associated with bacteria. Dominant bacteria included Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Serratia, and Curtobacterium. The effect of drought on fungal-bacteria-bark beetle interactions will be discussed.

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Related Links:
Fungal Molecular Ecology Lab

1 - University of New Mexico, Biology, Msc03 2020, Albuquerque, NM, 87131, USA
2 - USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
3 - Instituto Tecnolgico de Sonora, Mexico
4 - University of New Mexico, Biology, Msc 032020, Albuquerque, NM, 87131, USA
5 - Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division

blue stain fungi
Pinus edulis

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 64
Location: Wasatch B/Cliff Lodge - Level C
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 64004
Abstract ID:757