Survivability of AMF Symbiosis with Festuca rubra in Heavy-metal Contaminated Soil

Kayla Bonilla, Wendy Hernandez, Erika Niland, Department of Biology, Wingate University, 220 N Camden Rd, Wingate, NC 28174

Festuca rubra is a grass known to be tolerant to heavy-metal contaminated soils. It is also known to associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) which colonize plant roots and aid in nutrient uptake for the plant. AMF is known to help plants survive unfavorable conditions such as low soil fertility. Phytoremediation of contaminated soils has great potential for future applications, and it is believed that AMF could also play an important role. This study seeks to observe the potential for AMF to persist in metal contaminated soils by simulating heavy-metal contamination of F. rubra using pesticides with metal ions. Samples of F. rubra were collected from Wingate University Campus Lake and transplanted into a growth chamber where they were treated with tebuconazole, copper fungicide, zinc fungicide, or water as a control. Soil and roots were collected every three days for nine days. Upon collection, half of the roots were cleared and stained with Trypan blue to observe fungal presence, and the other half of the roots were subjected to DNA extraction and fungal presence confirmed using PCR. It was expected that AMF presence would survive heavy-metal contamination but experience a decrease in abundance.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Kayla Bonilla

Institution: Wingate University

Type: Poster

Subject: Environmental Science & Sustainability

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4650