2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Role of Dark Septate Endophytes in Drought Tolerance of the Forage Grass Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis)
Marcy R. Anderson
Prof. Zhong Ma, Faculty Mentor

Dark septate endophytes (DSEs) have been found in roots of the blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis). The objective of this study was to determine whether DSEs helps to enhance the drought tolerance of their host plants. To test this hypothesis, we germinated blue grama seeds under sterile conditions with or without addition of the DSE. Seedlings were grown in MS medium in culture tubes placed in an environmental chamber, under 25°C and 12h light/12h dark cycle. Drought stress was simulated by adding NaCl to the medium at concentrations of 50, 100, or 200 μM. After eight weeks of growth, plants were harvested and the biomass determined. Roots were assessed for inoculation by the DSE. We were not able to detect significant changes in plant biomass, possibly due to the short growth period. Future study with extended growth will likely allow us to better evaluate the role of DSEs on plant drought tolerance.

Keywords: Drought , Grass, Symbiosis, Fungi


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 10-12
Location: PML
Time: 4:15

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