Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 9, 2008
Publication Date: November 13, 2008
Citation: Bacon, C.W., Hinton, D.M. 2008. Endophyte-host cross talk as a signaling determinant for grass mutualisms: Presumptive evidence. Nov. 11-14,2008. "New Directions in Endophyte Research" at the VI Latin American Congress on Mycology, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Interpretive Summary: Abstract of presentation - no summary required.
Technical Abstract: The general term crosstalk is used to describe interactive signaling pathways that are operationally defined, usually at the molecular or genetic level, without regards to negative or positive results. However, this term has evolved to indicate studies of signaling between components of different pathways resulting in a positive feedback. Used in this discussion we define it at the ecological level as defense signaling from two vastly different organisms, fungal endophytes and their grass hosts. Plants are subjected to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses that must be perceived and responded to with all the metabolic machinery that it has, and in the case of a symbiotic association there must be signals between the two in order for the appropriate response, especially if the source of key metabolites is from the microcomponent sequestered endophytically within the symbiotum. Evidence is reviewed for signaling in endophyte-infested grasses and that signaling and crosstalk might be a key process in the evolutionary strategy for the compatible colonizing of grasses by clavicipitalean fungi to produce by in large a highly successful and ecological relevant defensive mutualism characteristic of most genera of the tribe Balansieae.