Abstract Detail

Mechanisms of rapid adaptation through the expression of “heterogenomicity”

Li, Fay-Wei [1].

The “symbiomics” of hornwort-cyanobacteria interaction: from community assembly, genomic diversity, to genetic regulation.

The symbiotic interaction with microbes is one of the key drivers in plant evolution—it has not only facilitated the life transition to land, but also played a pivotal role in species diversification and ecosystem functioning. Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are major microbial partners for plants, and had entered endosymbiotic relationship with five disparate plant lineages. These include the angiosperm genus Gunnera, cycads (gymnosperm), the water fern genus Azolla, a small family of liverworts (Blasiaceae), and all hornworts. However, our current understanding of plant-cyanobacteria symbioses is rudimentary. The phylogenetic diversity of cyanobionts has been largely unexplored, and very few studies have investigated variation in the symbiotic interaction. In addition, most genetic research has solely focused on the model cyanobiont Nostoc punctiforme, and the plant genes involved in symbiosis remain unknown. Here I will present what our group has done to better understand the diversity, genomics, and genetics behind cyanobacterial symbiosis in hornworts. To profile the symbiotic communities in hornworts, we developed a new PacBio amplicon-seq approach and found some interesting patterns on specificity and selectivity. To probe the diversity at the genomic level, we have been generating high quality genomes for both symbiotic cyanobacteria and hornwort hosts. And finally, using RNA-seq experiments, we have identified a suite of candidate genes that might be involved in cyanobacterial symbiosis. With the new genetic transformation tools being actively developed, we hope to further validate these gene functions. Using such multi-faceted approach to investigate hornwort-cyanobacteria symbiosis, we aim to establish a new symbiosis model that will allow us to obtain a more complete picture of plant microbial interaction. 

1 - Boyce Thompson Institute, 533 Tower Rd, Ithaca, NY, 14853, United States


Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: COL06002
Abstract ID:399
Candidate for Awards:None

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