Microbiology and Plant Biology
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:
Cereal crops are critical for producing food, feed, fiber, and industrial chemicals for a growing population. Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM), a beneficial plant-fungal interaction in roots, influences nutrient uptake in plants while increasing tolerance to environmental stresses. Grasses, including cereals, contain an abundance of the phenolic compound Ferulic Acid (FA) that crosslinks sugar polysaccharides of the cell wall structure and increase cell wall integrity. FA crosslinks could act as a physical barrier to AM fungi and reducing FA crosslinks could increase AM colonization. This experiment tested the hypothesis by inoculating the rice mutant AT10-D1, with 60% less FA, with AM fungus Rhizophagus irregelius. After 3 weeks, AM colonization increased significantly in pooled AT10-D1 plants by 1.5-fold. Furthermore, lateral roots, roots grown from the main roots and most colonized by AM fungi, did not exhibit an increase in AT10-D1 as seen in wild-type plants. Assuming most...
Awards and/or presentations:
Hayden, Daniel. "Rice Cell Wall Components Alter Beneficial Fungal Symbionts." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.