Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2015
Publication Date: 7/20/2015
Citation: Bacon, C.W., Hinton, D.M., Mitchell, T.R. 2015. Defensive functions and responsible metabolites of microbial endophytes. Proceedings of the 8th International Symbiosis Congress, the University of Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal, July 12-18, 2015, p 154.
Technical Abstract: Increasing evidence indicates that plant microbiomes are influence by ecological successes of plant hosts. Further, endophytic microbes such as bacteria and fungi greatly affect plant stress tolerance and are responsible for defensive reaction to several forms of herbivory. What is not yet clear is whether it is an evolutionary strategy for plants to seek out and selectively obtain microbes for their ecological benefits. Several questions can be asked about plant microbiomes. Are the resulting microbiomes happenstances due to the prevalence of microbes as in opportunistic infections that became intimate over time? Once established, are the resulting microbiomes influenced by the selective pressures that interact with the genomes of the plants and microbes? Is the resulting microbiome insured continued success due to constant genetic mutations occurring among the plants and microbes? Additional questions and potential answers will be addressed in the course of examining what is known about endophytic bacterial and fungal microbiomes that impart or enhance beneficial traits such as disease resistance. Specifically, selective and isolated information will be presented using a fungal endophytes (Epichloë species), and a bacterial endophyte (Bacillus mojavensis) as model microbiome systems. Similarly, other strategies that will be discussed include chemical defenses from herbivory, and the nature of microbe-host signaling, and information on quorum sensing and or quorum quenching metabolites of fungi and bacteria, which have evolved to suppress the host response that might have influence over the host’s final microbiome load.