The poplar tree maintains a diverse community of microbes associated with its roots, including essential mycorrhizal fungi that act as scavengers and protectors of the plant’s health. These mycorrhizal fungi have evolved multiple times and potentially serve very different functions for the host. This project seeks to understand which species of mycorrhizal fungi are important for plant health by sequencing their expressed RNA under different community complexity and better understand how species can modulate their behavior in the presence of other fungi.
Proposer: Brian Looney, Duke University
Proposal: Metatranscriptomic study of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities of Populus across a diversity gradient