Within leaves, disease-causing pathogens co-occur and interact with ubiquitous, non-pathogenic symbionts known as endophytes. Understanding the role of fungal endophytes in diseases of crop-, plantation-, and forest plants is of great interest as researchers strive to meet current and future demands for food and bioenergy while maintaining functional and biologically diverse ecosystems. This project focuses on mechanisms of interaction among plants, fungal endophytes, and fungal pathogens of the DOE JGI flagship model species, Populus trichocarpa. In
addition to providing a new perspective on plant-endophyte-pathogen interactions, this work will contribute to the development of predictive frameworks for understanding plant disease in the context of host- and symbiont interactions.
Proposer’s Name: Posy Busby, University of Washington