Abstract Detail

Crops and Wild Relatives

Conway, Megan [1], Giguere, Madlyn [1], Mendoza, Marvin [1], Mason, Chase [2].

Domestic partnership in the plant kingdom: using Helianthus annuus genotypes to assess the role of breeding bottlenecks in plant responsiveness to mycorrhizal fungi.

Sunflower is the fourth largest oilseed crop globally, and one of the only major crops domesticated in North America. Sunflower and an estimated 80% of all land plants form associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that provide plants with soil nutrients in exchange for photosynthetically derived carbon. AMF have gained attention as potential bio-fertilizers as they have been often reported to significantly increase plant yield, though in an often species-specific manner. Mycorrhizal growth response (MGR) quantifies the change in plant biomass that occurs during an association with these fungi, and recent literature suggests that MGR can be positive (indicating mutualism) or negative (indicating parasitism), and that intraspecific variation in MGR can be as large and interspecific variation for a single AMF strain. AMF species are not specialists and there is not strong evidence of host specificity. As humans breed crops for desired traits, genes linked to the trait of interest may be unintentionally selected and alter key biotic interactions like AMF symbiosis. To test whether domestication has important implications for mycorrhizal symbiosis in crop sunflower, 8 genotypes of Helianthus annus that reflect a continuum of historical breeding bottlenecks were inoculated with commercial Rhizophagus intraradices and subjected to low or high levels of fertilization in a randomized block design. Root AMF colonization rate and key plant functional traits like photosynthetic rate, leaf mass per area, and biomass allocation were measured and evaluated in relation to overall MGR. This work represents the first known assessment of the effects of domestication and improvement on mycorrhizal symbiosis in cultivated sunflower.

1 - University of Central Florida, Biology, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando , FL, 32816, USA
2 - University Of Central Florida, Department Of Biology, 4110 Libra Dr, Orlando, FL, 32816, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: CWR1009
Abstract ID:951
Candidate for Awards:None

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