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Abstract Detail

Plant-Symbiont Interactions

Lucero, Mary [1].

Identification of Seed Borne Endopohytes that Confer Salt Tolerance to Host Plants.

Atriplex canescens, (fourwing saltbush) is a chenopod halophyte that is broadly distributed among western rangelands. Its widely adapted and highly variable phenotypes are typically attributed to varied ploidy levels. However, A. canescens is also associated with complex communities of seed borne endophytes. Microscopic examination of these endophytes communities suggests possible roles in stress tolerance. In this study, circumstantial and experimental data are being combined to evaluate microbial contributions to salt tolerance of A. canescens. Initially, Ecological Site Descriptions published through the National Resource Conservation Service were used to identify five optimal and five extreme saline habitats populated with A. canescens. Seeds sampled from identified habitats are surface disinfested, and microbes associated with germinating seeds are characterized using direct isolation and/or denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), followed by sequencing of ribosomal DNA. At present, five ascomycete fungi and two bacterial species have been isolated. To analyze the manner in which these microbes influence host plant salt tolerance, microbes are transferred to aseptically propagated host plants. Treated and untreated plants are exposed to a range of mixed saline conditions in vitro, and plant growth is compared across treatments. Since saline water sources rarely consist of a single ion, salinity treatments consist of mixed solutions in which chloride, sulfate, and carbonate ion ratios vary. These assays are expected to reveal plant-endophyte combinations that increase plant tolerance to saline conditions.

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1 - USDA-ARS, Jornada Experimental Range, Mail Stop Code 3JER, NMSU, 2995 Knox Street, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, United States

Aspergillus ustus
Bacillus sp.
endophyte transfer.

Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P16020
Abstract ID:2087

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