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University of Texas – Austin

1. -7840-3489. Hierarchical controls of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance : ecological, physiological, and molecular.

Degree: Plant Biology, 2018, University of Texas – Austin

Symbiotic interactions influence many community and ecosystem processes, via their role in nutrient cycling, water acquisition, and pathogen protection. Symbiotic associations can range from antagonisms to mutualisms and depend on multiple levels of control: ecological controls driving species distributions, the physiological interaction of host and symbiont, and molecular regulation of symbiotic interactions. Using horizontally-transmitted endophytes and their associations with C4 grasses, I examined the ecological, physiological and molecular drivers of symbiotic interactions. Horizontally transmitted fungal endophytes reside within the tissues of nearly all studied plants and can alter plant physiology in response to drought. Most climate models predict an increase in the frequency and severity of drought in upcoming decades. If the drivers of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance can be used to predict the outcomes of plant- endophyte interactions more generally, it may have large ecological and economic implications. Throughout my dissertation, I characterized the ecological, physiological and molecular controls of plant fungal symbioses. To identify the ecological drivers of endophyte distributions, I characterized the plant and endophyte communities across a precipitation gradient, finding that historical and current climate explained most of the variation in community composition. Biotic factors, including host specificity and host traits, were substantially less predictive than biotic factors. To understand the physiological controls of plant-endophyte interactions, I characterized both functional traits of endophytes in culture and their effect on their plant host in symbiosis. Fungal resource use and stress tolerance were strongly predictive of the outcome of symbioses under stress, but less so under non-stressed conditions. To understand the molecular regulation of plant-fungal symbioses, I identified differentially expressed plant genes under differing environmental conditions. I found that, while certain pathogen and drought response genes correlated with plant response to fungal colonization, overall, beneficial fungi affected expression of a smaller number of genes than antagonistic fungi. Together, the results of these experiments emphasize the potential of multiple levels of regulation (ecological, physiological, and molecular) to regulate the outcome of symbioses. Advisors/Committee Members: Hawkes, Christine V. (advisor), Barrick, Jeffrey (committee member), Fowler, Norma (committee member), Juenger, Thomas (committee member), Mehdy, Mona (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: Endophyte; Ascomycota; Warm-season grass; Precipitation; Traits; Transcriptome; Mutualism

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APA (6th Edition):

-7840-3489. (2018). Hierarchical controls of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance : ecological, physiological, and molecular. (Thesis). University of Texas – Austin. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2152/68387

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Author name may be incomplete
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

-7840-3489. “Hierarchical controls of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance : ecological, physiological, and molecular.” 2018. Thesis, University of Texas – Austin. Accessed December 14, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2152/68387.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Author name may be incomplete
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

-7840-3489. “Hierarchical controls of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance : ecological, physiological, and molecular.” 2018. Web. 14 Dec 2018.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Author name may be incomplete

Vancouver:

-7840-3489. Hierarchical controls of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance : ecological, physiological, and molecular. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Texas – Austin; 2018. [cited 2018 Dec 14]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/68387.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Author name may be incomplete
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

-7840-3489. Hierarchical controls of endophyte-mediated drought tolerance : ecological, physiological, and molecular. [Thesis]. University of Texas – Austin; 2018. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2152/68387

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Author name may be incomplete
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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