2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Comparing the Microfungal Communities in Herbivore Dung and Bouteloua gracilis Roots
Kelsey E. Vaughn
Dr. Jose Herrera, Faculty Mentor

Previous research has assessed the fungal endophyte communities and identified some of the common species present in Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), a native North American range grass. Molecular assessments also revealed numerous DNA sequences of several coprophilic fungal species within the roots of B. gracilis. We sought to determine if dung plays a role in the life cycle, or serves as a mechanism in RAF plant root colonization. We used molecular and traditional techniques to assess the microfungal communities within dung samples from various herbivores from Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM and Wind Cave National Park, SD collected in May and June of 2008. Molecular data from all herbivores except Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) were inconclusive. Molecular data from C. ludovicianus most commonly showed fungal sequences of Campanella sp., Tetrapygros sp., Preussia sp., Thelebolacea sp., and Ascobolus sp.

Keywords: Microfugal Communities, Molecular , Bouteloua gracilis, DNA sequence, Herbivore Dung

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 10-4
Location: VH 1408
Time: 9:00

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