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Abstract Detail

Seed-free Plants at the Genomic Scale

Chen, Ko-Hsuan [1], Liao, Hui-Ling [1], Arnold, A. Elizabeth [2], Lutzoni, Francois [1].

Metatranscriptomic analysis of the moss Dicranum scoparium reveals active fungal communities and functionalities across a senescence gradient.

Mosses are known to be associated with a variety of microorganisms including fungi. However, only a few moss-fungus interactions have been investigated and their symbiotic interactions remain mostly unknown. The moss Dicranum scoparium has three main growth stages: 1) a photosynthetic layer at the top of moss mats, 2) a mainly dead layer with minor decomposition in the middle, and 3) a highly decomposed layer in the lower portion of gametophytes. Having the same moss individual with all three growth stages provides an opportunity to study transitions of fungal community and function in response to host senescence. The metatranscriptomes of plants, including D. scoparium, contain fungal transcripts in addition to expected plant transcripts, and the activities of both partners can be studied simultaneously. By integrating methods ordinarily used for detecting Differential Gene Expression (DGE) and microbial communities for metatranscriptomics, we show that that active fungal communities in D. scoparium are structured by the degree of senescence. Overall, fungi of the phylum Ascomycota are more active in the photosynthetic layer, while Basidiomycota are more active in decomposing tissues. Entomophthoromycota, Glomeromycota, Chytridiomycota, Mortierellomycotina and Mucoromycotina were detected but not as abundant. The functions of fungal communities were also investigated, with a focus on the activities of genes related to decomposition and nutrient transportation. Our study demonstrated that metatranscriptomics is a promising tool to study complex symbiotic systems both in terms of taxonomic and functional aspects of symbiotic communities.

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1 - Duke University, Department of Biology, 137 Bio Sciences, 130 Science Dr., Durham, NC, 27708, USA
2 - University of Arizona, School Of Plant Sciences, 1140 E South, Campus Dr. Forbes 303, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA

Dicranum scoparium

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: 3:15 PM
Number: C4008
Abstract ID:300
Candidate for Awards:None

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