On Monday 14th June 2021 14:00 CEST we will have one of our exceptional (but becoming more regular;-) ECOFUN meetings open to our friends, colleagues and collaborators. These meetings aim to provide a friendly, safe and relaxed space for early career researchers to present the research they are working on, to ask questions and to obtain useful feedback and support from our community.

We are delighted to meet Dr Cecilia Casas from the University of Buenos Aires who will present some results from her research.

Screen Shot 2021-08-25 at 12.18.43 PMThe title of her talk will be:

Physiological adjustments associated with Epichloë endophytes and mycorrhizal fungi are limited by aridity in a Patagonian grass.

ABSTRACT Considering the eco-physiological responses of plant-fungal symbioses to the environment especially under conditions highly restrictive for growth, is key to understand plant ecology in native distribution ranges. Here, we examined the eco-physiological roles of two non-pathogenic fungal symbionts [Epichloë endophytes and arbuscular mycorrhizae (AMF)] in the endemic grass Hordeum comosum along its humid-to-arid distribution range in Patagonia with contrasting levels of grazing severity. AMF colonization was higher in Epichloë-symbiotic plants; however, Epichloë prevalence and AMF colonization decreased with aridity. Plants with both symbionts had higher shoot-N and -P concentration, but the intrinsic water-use efficiency (the ratio of photosynthesis to stomatal conductance) was unaffected by either, aridity or grazing severity. The aridity-response of 18O-enrichment of cellulose was higher in plants with higher AMF colonization, consistent with an AMF-mediated enhanced stomatal responsiveness to the humid-arid gradient. Despite symbiosis-mediated improvement on H. comosum ecophysiology, extreme aridity limits the associations.

About the Speaker

Cecilia Casas is an Agricultural Engineer and PhD in Agricultural Sciences from the Faculty of Agronomy, University of Buenos Aires (FAUBA). Since 2008 she is a teacher (currently Adjunct Professor) of the Chair of Soil Science (FAUBA). She did a postdoctoral stay at the Chair of Grass Science, Technical University of Munich (TUM, 2015-2017) leaded by Prof. Hans Schnyder. Since November 2018, she is an Assistant Researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) in Argentine. Her place of work is the Institute of Physiological and Ecological Research Linked to Agriculture (IFEVA; http://www.ifeva.edu.ar/). She participates in the dictation of the courses of ‘Edaphology’ in the careers of Agronomic Engineer, Bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences and Technician in Organic Plant Production. In addition, she collaborates in the courses “Hierarchical data in environmental science: collection and analysis with R” and “Habitat Distribution Models: conceptual bases and construction” both at the Graduate School at the FAUBA. Her research interest is to study how plant-symbiont relationships influence the functioning of the ecosystem in grasslands and pastures and how they are influenced, in turn, by management practices typical of these ecosystems.

Look forward to catching up with everybody.

Please contact lisa.wingate@inrae.fr if you wish to attend this zoom meeting.

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