The role of endophytic fungi in aspen leaves in the presence and absence of beetle damage
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Endophytic fungi (endophytes) are vertically (systemic) or horizontally transmitted fungi living in plant tissues without causing symptoms for at least part of their life cycle. Scientists have found evidence of a rich and diverse fungal flora in all studied plant species. The present study addressed the abundance and diversity of the endophytic community in aspen leaves and its association with aspen geno- and chemotype in the presence and absence of the leaf chewing specialist beetle Chrysomela tremulae. I found a distinct pattern of appearance and association with aspen genotypes and chemotypes when aspen leaves had no damage by beetles. This pattern changed in the presence of beetle presence and damage, endophyte richness increased and the geno- and chemotypic patterns were blurred and became insignificant. The presences of yeast-like morphs were restricted to beetle damaged plants and I could conclude that 1. Beetles may act as vectors of specific (probably yeast-like) fungi that 2. Interact with other endophytes. This insight was confirmed in a competition experiment. The fungi were identified with the use of molecular techniques using the ITS unit. Sequences were blasted against the NCBI and Yeast genome data bases. Challenges with the identification are discussed in the thesis.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81466OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-81466DiVA: diva2:655908
Master's Programme in Ecology
Albrectsen, Benedicte, Forskare