|Schwab, Lori Kae -|
|Uno, Adrian -|
|Deswood, Helena -|
Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2009
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Black grama grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) is difficult to reestablish, particularly in remote sites with low rainfall and poor access to irrigation. Employing non-specific commercially available mycorrhizal fungi mixtures have been proven of little use in remediation of surface mine sites in northwestern New Mexico. In recent studies, black grama seedlings co-cultured with plant callus containing fungal endophytes from other Chihuahuan desert species exhibited higher survival, establishment, and biomass production than untreated counterparts. Further findings on the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range suggest that endophytic fungal associations with black grama may be crucial for successful plant community establishment in arid zones. Proposed research will explore establishment success of black grama transplants with various endophyte associations on two natural gas drilling pads on Otero Mesa, located in southeastern New Mexico. The soils of the retired drilling pads are highly compacted, degraded, and salinized. In vitro bioassays are being performed to identify and select black grama-endophyte combinations that improve early seedling vigor under increasing osmotic stress. Identified selections will be utilized as transplants in field studies on Otero Mesa beginning in summer 2009. Further data will be taken to determine the stability of the introduced microbial population over time, and to monitor establishment of black grama in degraded aridic soils.