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Abstract Detail


Vandegrift, Roo [1], Thomas, Daniel [1], Ju, Yu-Ming [2], Carroll, George [1], Roy, Bitty [1].

Dispersal ecology of endophytic Xylariaceae in subtropical Taiwan: a test of the Foraging Ascomycete Hypothesis.

The interrelationships between plants and the microscopic organisms that live within them (endophytes) are poorly understood. Endophytes in the tropics are thought to represent a hotspot of biodiversity. Some of the most common tropical endophytes are members of the fungal family Xylariaceae (Ascomycota), which are known primarily as wood decomposers. The role of Xylariaceae as endophytes remains unclear, as do many aspects of their lifecycle, including their means of dispersal. These may be linked: xylariaceous fungi could utilize the endophytic life stage as a means to “forage” for an appropriate substrate, persisting longer in the environment within an infected leaf than they could as a naked spore. We are testing this hypothesis by examining patterns of occurrence of both endophytic and saprotrophic Xylariaceae in a permanent forest plot in an evergreen, broad-leaved forest in northern Taiwan: Fushan Botanical Reserve, a Smithsonian Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) network Forest Dynamics Plot (FDP). Sampling within a FDP allows us to access a vast amount of potentially explanatory data when assessing endophyte community structuring in space. We have completed one season of sampling, in the summer of 2013.
Evidence of dispersal limitation in xylariaceous endophytes will allow us to test the hypothesis that the endophytic life stage of Xylariaceae serves as a means of dispersal. This is the most intensive survey of xylariaceous fungi ever completed in a subtropical Asian forest, providing important data on diversity of Xylaria and allied fungi. Next generation sequencing with the Illumina MiSeq platform is being used to assess the endophyte communities, leading to one of the largest spatially explicit surveys of endophytes in a tropical forest, as well as ensuring adequate capture of the xylariaceous endophytes in the forest. Sample processing and data collection/analysis is ongoing, but should be completed by the end of May.

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1 - University of Oregon, Biology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, 335 Pacific Hall, 5289 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403-5289, USA
2 - Academia Sinica, Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, 128 Sec. 2, Academia Rd, Nangang, Taipei, 11529, Taiwan

Foraging Ascomycte Hypothesis

Presentation Type: Offered Paper - Paper
Session: 1
Location: Room 103 AB/Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 1003
Abstract ID:132
Candidate for Awards:Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award

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