Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
Keerthi Mandyam - Alcorn State University
Co-Author(s): Anna Kazarina and Ananda Nanjundaswamy, Dept of Agriculture, Alcorn State University, Lorman, MS; Benjamin Vaisvil, Daniel Schmitt, and Vinayak Kapatral, Igenbio Inc., Chicago, IL
Plants are associated with a suite of microbial symbioses, with roots offering a unique niche for fungal endophytes. Among root fungal symbionts, dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungi are common, sometimes abundant but enigmatic with poor clarity on their functional roles. Biogeographical distinctions likely exist in DSE communities from forests and grasslands, with North American and European grasslands predominantly represented by Periconia macrospinosa. To understand their endophytic roles, recently the genome of dark septate P. macrospinosa and Cadophora isolated from Festuca vaginata from semi-arid European grassland were sequenced. To further comprehend DSE functional roles, the objective of this study was to compare the North American P. macrospinosa genome with that of the European P. macrospinosa. Periconia was isolated from a stand of Freedom Giant Miscanthus cultivated in Lorman, Mississippi and was confirmed to be a DSE. We hypothesized that despite the geographical distinctions and diverse grass hosts, P. macrospinosa associated with grasses would have similar functional roles. Periconia genome was sequenced using Illumina and PacBio platforms. Our Periconia genome was determined to be ~ 53.5 MB in size with 45% GC content. At least 12,059 ORFs with 9,086 ORFs with introns were identified and nearly 35% of the ORFs were assigned functions. As expected, several plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs) like cellulases (12 ORFs), amylases (2 ORFs), pectin esterase (1 ORF), tannase (2 ORFs), laccase (6 ORFs) were identified along with several sugar transport systems such as maltose, lactate, sucrose, maltose, xylose isomaltose, palatinose, etc. However, ORFs for lignin peroxidase, manganese peroxidase, glyoxal oxidase were not observed. As hypothesized, the Periconia genomes were comparable. Periconia macrospinosa genomics data will be discussed to draw big picture inferences regarding DSE symbiosis.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF HBCU UP RIA to KM; USDA AFRI grant to KM; USDA NIFA Evans Allen grant
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,