This study will explore the genetics of obligately symbiotic interactions between conifers (Pinaceae) and their host-specific ectomycorrhizal fungi in the mushroom genus Suillus, and their effects on ecological cycling of forest carbon. Using conifer seedlings experimentally inoculated with different Suillus species, we will employ integrated metatranscriptomic / metaproteomic/metabolomic approaches identify key fungal in EMF-Pinaceae roots for the species represent samples of the widely co-distribution across their natural habitats. This study will provide the first ever assessment of molecular functioning and core genes involved in ectomycorrhizal formation at the genus and species level (Suillus) across a phylogenetically diverse sampling of conifers (Pinaceae). Meta’omic analyses of mycorrhizal functioning in soil will also help us to better define the roles these species play in soil nutrient turnover.
Proposer: Hui-Ling Liao, Duke University