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Abstract Detail



Ecology/Pathology

Walker, Allison K. [1], Tanney, Joey [2], Frasz, Samantha L [1], Sumarah, Mark W.  [3], Richardson, Susan N [1], Nsiama, Tienabe  [1], Hirooka, Yuuri [4], Walker, Donald M. [5], Seifert, Keith [4], Miller, J David [1].

Conifers and Chemistry: fungal endophytes of Canada’s Acadian forest.

We are isolating and identifying red, white and black spruce and white pine needle endophytes of the Acadian forest (New Brunswick, Canada). We are studying phylogenetic relationships of fungal endophytes by correlating cultures generated from surface sterilized conifer needles with fungal reproductive structures collected from the same forests. This research will help address the taxonomic gap resulting from the many unidentified endophyte sequences on GenBank. Our research includes screening endophytes for beneficial or novel secondary metabolites. Phialocephala scopiformis produces the anti-insectan compound rugulosin, effective against the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana). Based on genetic characterization of existing isolates, we created diagnostic tools (qPCR TaqMan probes) for detection of two beneficial endophyte strains in conifer needles, Phialocephala scopiformis (Vibrisseaceae, Helotiales) and Lophodermium nitens (Rhytismataceae, Rhytismatales). These assays are being used to confirm and quantify inoculation success rates and persistence of beneficial fungal endophytes in commercially raised conifer seedlings, an improvement over past ELISA-based detection methods. Recent screenings have revealed an endophytic species of Xylaria (Xylariaceae, Xylariales) isolated from both white pine and blueberry produces the potently antifungal compound griseofulvin. We are also interested in the host plant specificity of these fungi. This is an important concept to recognize when contemplating the interaction of agriculturally and horticulturally relevant species with their hosts. Understanding evolutionary mechanisms that contribute to complex host/fungus interactions is important for elucidating endophyte and plant pathogen host ranges. A new species, Ophiognomonia acadiensis (Gnomoniaceae, Diaporthales), is described from red spruce based on morphology and a three-gene phylogeny. This is the first record of this economically important fungal genus from a coniferous host and may represent a host jump to this economically significant plant division.


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1 - Carleton University/Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Biodiversity, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada
2 - Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada
3 - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, London, ON, Canada
4 - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Biodiversity (Mycology and Microbiology), 960 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6, Canada
5 - The University of Findlay, Department of Natural Sciences, 1000 N Main St, Findlay, OH, 45840, USA

Keywords:
endophytes
conifer
forest ecology
spruce budworm
qPCR
griseofulvin
Ophiognomonia acadiensis
Phialocephala scopiformis
Lophodermium nitens
Xylaria.

Presentation Type: Offered Paper - Paper
Session: 11
Location: Room 103 AB/Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Date: Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 11005
Abstract ID:188
Candidate for Awards:None


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