EcolChange seminar – Adam Frew about how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi impact belowground herbivores

Seminars of Department of Botany and Centre of Excellence EcolChange

Autumn is here. Which means seminars are back as well. The apples in Tartu have became extra sweet from night frost. And together with majority of life, mycorrhiza is winterizing. We´ll talk about them while they sleep…

Speaker: Adam Frew is Post-doctoral researcher at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia. He studies interactions between plants, herbivores and soil microbiota. He is visiting Department of Botany, Tartu University in order to collaborate with the Plant Ecology Laboratory.

Title of the talk: How do arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi impact belowground herbivores?

Time: Thursday, 03. October 2019 at 14.15

Place: Tartu, Lai 40-218 (Vaga auditorium)

Summary: Almost all terrestrial plants are attacked by one, if not many, species of invertebrate herbivore. Most of these plants associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Despite our increasing understanding of these tripartite interactions involving aboveground herbivores, we know less about the impacts of AM fungi on root-feeders. Here I will present results from a combination of experiments investigating these belowground interactions.

Panel 1: Pirates of Hawaii – C. elegans lab variant, N2, was originally isolated in Bristol from a pineapple. This is a cartoon on how the polymorphic variant of N2, the Hawaiian strain, tries to conquer N2’s use as the common lab strain.
Panel 2: Game of worms: Tyrion Lannister is depicted by the fat and stout mutant in C. elegans called Dumpy. E. coli strain, OP50, is compared to Tryrion’s wine because C. elegans feeds on OP50 as much as Tyrion Lannister on his wine.
Panel 3: Mite wars: One major, eternal threat to C. elegans is posed by Mites! Here, mites are compared to dark forces/Sith army while worms are compared to the Jedi army. Fungi are also a source of contamination to C. elegans. Hence, fungi are shown as allies of the dark forces.
Panel 4: The usual suspects: The most common mutants used in C. elegans community – the wildtype (N2), the dumpy (dpy), the long (lon) and the uncoordinated (unc). (picture together with the legend from here)

After the seminar everyone is welcome to coffee/tea and snacks in the seminar room (coffee room, ground floor).
AT 2 PM THE MINIBUS (yellow MB) DEPARTS FROM CHEMICUM TO LAI 40 AND AFTER THE SEMINAR YOU CAN GET BACK TO THE CHEMICUM WITH THE SAME BUS.
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