Microdochium bolleyi J235TASD1 v1.0
Hyphae and conidia of Microdochium bolleyi at 100x.
Hyphae and conidia of Microdochium bolleyi at 200x.
Photo Credit: Aaron David.

Microdochium bolleyi is a fungus commonly found living endophytically within plant roots, particularly those in grasses (Mandyam et al. 2010). The strain of M. bolleyi sequenced for the 1000 Fungal Genome Project was found growing within roots of three species of beachgrass along the USA Pacific Northwest Coast: the native Elymus mollis and the invasive Ammophila arenaria and A. breviligulata. The particular isolate (J235TASD1) sequenced was isolated from A. breviligulata. In a survey of beachgrass endophytes, M. bolleyi was the most frequently isolated endophyte (David et al. 2015a). M. bolleyi was also the fastest growing and one of the highest conidia-producing endophyte species in culture (David et al. 2015a).

While the effects of M. bolleyi on its beachgrass hosts has not yet been quantified, M. bolleyi is typically regarded as a commensal or weak pathogen (Kirk and Deacon 1987).

This particular strain of M. bolleyi is important for our understanding of how fungi tolerate extreme environments. Dune systems are characterized by high winds, low soil moisture, and low soil nutrients (Cooper 1958, David et al. 2015b), making them harsh environments for most organisms. Studying the genomes of species that thrive in these habitats may reveal how these species evolved traits for tolerating these environments.

 

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