Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2009
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Mechanisms by which seedborne endophytic microbes interact with host plants to influence larger ecological processes are widely unknown. Nonetheless, systems in which endophyte dynamics have been examined suggest high potential to utilize microbes for vegetative restoration. A long term, multidisciplinary strategy for examining endophyte diversity, host specificity, and phylogeographic relationships within the halophytic plant genus Atriplex is revealing novel endophytes that interact on the cellular level to modify host plant ecological fitness. The ability to transfer identified endophytes to less hardy species to improve restoration potential is under investigation. The general overview of sampling strategies, molecular techniques, in vitro bioassays, and field investigations provided herein will be elaborated on in subsequent presentations. Initial products of this research and current hurdles to overcome will be highlighted. Benefits of combining high risk research with ascertainable goals, outreach, and deliverable products will be discussed, and specific areas that would benefit from increased collaboration will be illustrated.