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Abstract Detail


Plant-Pathogen Interactions

Romanchuk, Artur [1], Morrison, Janet [2].

Effects of smut fungus infection on the early successional grass Andropogon virginicus.

Andropogon virginicus is an important early successional species. This perennial C4 bunchgrass often is found dominating old fields along the East coast of United States, and is introduced in California and Hawaii. In the east, populations of A. virginicus often harbor a pathogenic smut fungus, Sporisorium ellisii. Infected plants are smaller and exhibit lower photosynthesis rates than healthy plants, and mortality is greater in infected plants (70% compared to 43% in healthy plants in one population from 2005 through 2006. This fungus remains largely asymptomatic until the grass flowers, when infected individuals display fungal sori instead of normal flowers and fruits. As a result, we do not yet know the pattern of infection throughout the host tissue; while most infected plants exhibit systemic infection (all flowers on all shoots are replaced by sori), we can not tell if fungal hyphae are growing throughout the plant. Additionally, infections appear to be perennial; most plants infected one year remain infected the next year, but it is possible that this may actually be re-infection. Therefore, to facilitate our further study of this plant-pathogen interaction we are developing a molecular marker method to diagnose S. ellisii infection within host plant tissue, by utilizing S. ellisii specific primers developed from within the ribosomal ITS sequence.


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1 - The College of New Jersey, Biology, 125 Sixth Ave., apt. # 6, Clifton, NJ, 07011, USA
2 - The College of New Jersey, Biology

Keywords:
Andropogon virginicus
smut fungus.

Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P15067
Abstract ID:1620


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