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Abstract Detail

Ecological Consequences and Mechanisms of Fungal-Fungal Interactions

May, Georgiana [1], Nelson, Paul [1].

Fungal-fungal interactions structure populations and communities.

Fungi are ubiquitous in nature. For symbiotic fungi living within plants, we have little understanding of the impact of equally ubiquitous interactions among symbionts, and with their hosts, structure microbial populations and communities. Here, we report on models and experiments to better predict the outcomes of fungal-fungal interactions within a plant and the consequences for evolution of the host-symbiont evolution.  In models, we find that microbial interactions within hosts need not drive evolution of greater virulence toward the host as is often predicted.  The evolution of virulence in one symbiont is constrained if co-occurring symbionts do not entirely share the costs of a pathogen toward the host. Such situations might arise if one organism acts as a defensive symbiont or more broadly, restricts costs of the pathogen to survival of the symbiont. We use empirical results to test these predictions and report results for fitness consequences of fungal interactions within hosts as well as mechanisms of fungal-fungal and fungal-plant interactions.  Modeling and experimental results suggest that realistic conditions exist under which microbial interactions within hosts may lead to lower rather than greater, virulence in pathogens.

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1 - University of Minnesota, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, 100 Ecology Bldg., Saint Paul, MN, 55108, USA


Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY4
Location: Auditorium/Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Time: 3:00 PM
Number: SY4005
Abstract ID:130
Candidate for Awards:None

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