Teleha, Mary , Miller, Adam .
Identification of Alternaria as a previously undescribed fungal endophyte of Cephalanthus occidentalis.
Fungal endophytes are characterized by their ability to live asymptomatically within plant tissue. Recent studies of endophytes of various plant species, crop plants and grasses in particular, have revealed that the presence of endophytes within a given plant species is a common occurrence. Endophytes of longer-growing woody plants have been less studied, but some investigations have suggested that they are in fact more diverse and numerous than those found in grasses. Cephalanthus occidentalis is a common wetland shrub that is found near swamps, streams, and ponds in areas north of the Gulf Coast. Fruit, leaf, and stem tissues from living C. occidentalis plants were examined for the presence of fungal endophytes. Surface sterilized tissues revealed the presence of fungal endophytes within each of the three observed plant tissues. Fungal presence within fruits of C. occidentalis had little impact on seed viability, while observations of other plant tissues demonstrated no obvious pathogenic symptoms. This suggests that the plant is tolerant of the fungal endophyte. Sequence analysis of a PCR-amplified ITS region revealed that the endophyte belongs within the genus Alternaria, a common saprophyte or pathogen of plant tissues, but far less commonly a true endophyte. This uncharacteristic behavior may reveal a unique dynamic between Alternaria and this particular host that may be elucidated with further studies.
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1 - Bowling Green State University, Biology, 217 Life Sciences, Bowling Green, Ohio, 43403-0200, U.S.A.
2 - Lorain County Community College, Science and Mathematics, 1005 Abbe Rd N, Elyria, Ohio, 44035, U.S.A.
Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM