Despite evidence that endophytes play a critical role in plant-microbe interactions, they are poorly represented in genome databases. Leveraging our unique culture collection, the team proposes a genomic survey of the Xylariaceae, one of the largest and most diverse families of fungi made up of endophytic, pathogenic, and saprotrophic (including wood degrading) species. Our project will uncover the evolutionary history of plant-endophyte symbioses as well as characterize secondary metabolite (natural product) pathways and plant cell wall grading enzymes important for biofuel production in these fungi.
Proposer: Jana U’Ren, University of Arizona
Proposal: Comparative and population genomics of Xylariaceae: exploring the roles of endophytic fungi in lignocellulose degradation, nutrient cycling, and secondary metabolite production