The complete Laccaria genome sequence was announced July 23 at the Fifth International Conference on Mycorrhiza in Granada, Spain by an international consortium comprised of DOE JGI, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), and Ghent University in Belgium, and additional groups in Germany, Sweden, and France.
"The Laccaria genome sequence will provide the global research community with a critical resource to develop faster-growing trees for producing more biomass that can be converted to fuels, and for trees capable of capturing more carbon from the atmosphere," said DOE JGI Director Eddy Rubin.
"The woody tissues of trees act as one of the world's most important terrestrial sinks for CO2, making trees an important stabilizer of carbon in the earth's environment," said Francis Martin, INRA's Laccaria project leader. "The steady rise of global atmospheric CO2 concentrations suggests that we are on the trajectory for serious environmental problems. This situation could be eased by modeling and actively managing the complex relationships between trees and fungi," said Martin.
Key factors behind the ability of trees to generate large amounts of biomass or store carbon reside in the way that they interact with soil microbes known as mycorrhizal fungi, which excel at procuring necessary, but scarce, nutrients such as phosphate and nitrogen. When Laccaria bicolor partners with plant roots, a mycorrhizal root is created, resulting in a mutualistic relationship that significantly benefits both organisms. The fungus within the root is protected from competition with other soil microbes and gains preferential access to carbohydrates within the plant.
Such mycorrhizae are critical to terrestrial ecosystems, Martin said, since approximately 85 percent of all plant species, including trees, are dependent on such interactions to thrive. Mycorrhizae significantly improve photosynthetic carbon assimilation by plants and are estimated to fix more phosphate and nitrogen than the entire worldwide chemical fertilizer industry produces.
"The study and management of such relationships holds immense potential for the agriculture, forestry, and horticulture industries, as well as far-reaching implications for land management policies and the impact of global climate change on plants," said Gopi Podila of UAH.
"This unique research opportunity enables us to advance the understanding of how functional genomics of this symbiosis enhances biomass production and carbon management, particularly through the interaction with the poplar tree, also sequenced by DOE JGI," Rubin said. "We can now harness the interaction between these species and identify the factors involved in biomass production by characterizing the changes that occur between the two genomes as the tree and the fungus collaborate to generate biomass. It also helps us to understand the interaction between these two symbionts within the context of the changing global climate."
"Characterization of the interactions between poplar and its symbiotic associate, Laccaria bicolor, allows us to explore the coordinated response to environmental stressors, such as drought and extreme temperature, and other biological factors, providing a new dimension to climate change research and a step further toward mechanistic modeling of ecosystem responses," Rubin said.
David Gilbert | EurekAlert!
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine