Date of Award
Symbiotic relationships are widely studied phenomena in the biological world. Of particular interest are the ubiquitous relationships that exist between fungi and photoautotrophs. While much is known about the commonly occurring interactions that persist between fungi and a wide range of terrestrial plants, we are interested in exploring the symbiotic capacity between fungi and earlier diverging lineages of the plant kingdom, notably green algae. We developed an experiment to allow for a medium-throughput analysis of fungal-algal interactions using three model green algae: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Chlorella vulgaris, and Penium margaritaceum. With numerous replicated assays, these algae were individually paired with a large selection of fungal species (in the subphylum of Pezizomycotina, Ascomycota) and grown together in coculture. These fungal-algal cocultures were grown alongside fungal and algal monoculture controls. We compared dry-weight coculture biomass to that of fungal and algal monoculture biomass and used biomass comparisons as indicators of symbiotic potential in a preliminary survey of the capacity for phylogenetically diverse fungi to interact with key representatives of the green algae.
Williams, Natalie S., "Fungal-Algal Speed Dating: Exploring Symbiotic Potential of Fungal-Algal Cocultures" (2019). Honors Theses. 1120.