Abstract Detail


Foy, Rebecca [1], Barrett, Craig [2], Huebner, Cynthia [3], Puppo, Pamela [4].

Fungal species help control populations of the invasive Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) in the southeast U.S.A.

Invasive plants compete with native species for water, light, and nutrients, and are one of the major causes of native species decline. They can establish quickly, disrupting ecosystems and causing billions of dollars in damage each year. Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A.Camus, Poaceae) is an invasive grass from Asia. It was accidentally introduced in the US in the early 20th century and since then, it has rapidly spread taking over eastern U.S. forests. Recently, populations of stiltgrass have been observed with signs of leaf-blight disease. This disease, caused by Bipolaris fungi, decreases populations density and seed production, and could potentially be acting as a biological agent controlling the spread of Japanese stiltgrass. In this study, we collected 60 samples of M. vimineum from two localities in southwestern West Virginia and amplified the ITS gene to assess the presence of Bipolaris. With this we aim to: 1. Identify the Bipolaris species present in M. vimineum, and 2. Determine whether leaves without visible lesions are still infected with Bipolaris. Our study revealed the presence of multiple species of Bipolaris infecting Japanese stiltgrass and supports a possible correlation between the presence of the fungi and the level of disturbance of the areas where M. vimineum grows.

1 - Marshall University, Biological Sciences, 350 Science Building, One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, West Virginia, 25755, United States
2 - West Virginia University, Biology, 53 Campus Drive, Morgantown, WV, 26506, United States
3 - Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology, College Station, PA, 16801, USA
4 - Marshall University, Biological Sciences, 350 Science Building, One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV, 25755, United States

invasive species
Japanese stiltgrass
leaf-blight disease

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC10005
Abstract ID:599
Candidate for Awards:None

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