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Abstract Detail

Seed-free Plants at the Genomic Scale

Eily, Ariana [1], Li, Fay-Wei [1], Gile, Gillian [2], Pryer, Kathleen [1].

Insider trading: Understanding nutrient exchange in the Azolla-Nostoc symbiosis.

Azolla, a small genus of aquatic ferns, has immense green potential to positively impact the globe. Azolla owes this distinction to the nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc azollae, which it harbors within specialized cavities in each of its photosynthetic leaves. The Azolla-Nostoc symbiosis is unique among known plant-bacteria symbioses in that the cyanobiont is intimately associated with the fern throughout its life cycle. During sexual reproduction, Nostoc akinetes reside in the indusium chamber above the Azolla megaspore. In the growing sporophyte, Nostoc filaments are enclosed within a mucilaginous network in the leaf cavity, and are closely associated with specialized hairs that arise from the adaxial epidermal cells of Azolla that form the boundary of the leaf cavity. These hairs are believed to play roles in nutrient exchange between the two symbionts. Ammonium is produced by the cyanobiont and taken up by the plant; sucrose is produced by the photobiont and supplied to the cyanobacterium. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of how these nutrients are exchanged between Azolla-Nostoc remains unknown. Currently, we are using a combination of phylogenetics, transcriptomics, and confocal microscopy to elucidate the mechanism of ammonium and sucrose exchange in this intimate association.­ Through genomics and phylogenetics, we have identified the ammonium transporters (AMTs) and the putative sucrose transporters (SUTs) in the genome of Azolla filiculoides.

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Related Links:
Azolla genome project website

1 - Duke University, Department of Biology, Durham, NC, 27708, USA
2 - Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, Tempe, AZ, 85281, USA

N-fixing cyanobacteria.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: C4, Seed Free Plants at the Genomic Scale
Location: Chatham Ballroom - C/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
Time: 5:15 PM
Number: C4016
Abstract ID:155
Candidate for Awards:None

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