Submitted to: Wildland Shrub Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2006
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Obligate fungal endophytes often defy detection and isolation by conventional microbiology techniques. Staining methods, including the use of trypan blue and sudan IV have effectively detected endophytes in plant tissues. However, stains fail to distinguish one fungal endophyte from another, thus obscuring the complexity of plant-endophyte communities. We have successfully separated fungal and plant ribosomal DNA sequences by amplifying plant-extracted DNA with polymerase chain reactions, then separating similar sequences with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The resulting electrophoregrams produce specific bands unique for each organism present in a specific plant-endophyte community. DGGE also permits detection of bacterial endophytes. Here we compare the diversity of endophytes populations from in vitro cultures of eight Chihuahuan desert grasses and shrubs. These profiles illustrate the complexity of plant systems previously thought of as single organisms.