Sustainable plant production is greatly influenced by plant-associated microorganisms. Beneficial microbes enhance plant growth and improve persistence, whereas pathogens reduce production quality and quantity. Understanding the variation of microbes, especially variation in traits related to their life strategy, is critical for understanding how these associations impact their hosts.
The Mycology Laboratory studies beneficial symbionts of grasses and utilizes them as value-added traits in grass cultivars. In addition, the Young laboratory dissects the interaction between the pathogens Phymatotrichopsis omnivora and Fusicladium effusum and their hosts, alfalfa and pecan, respectively.
Project Title: Can Manipulation of fungal endophyte diversity positively influence tall fescue pasture sustainability and ecosystem functioning?
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture
Term: January 2016 to December 2017
Project Title: Deciphering Neotyphodium-grass association with laser capture microscopy
Source: Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology
Term: March 2010 to March 2012