Bay Area sampling of Populus endophytes


Quantifying the effects of host genetics on foliar fungal communities in a Populus hybrid zone.

This work was led by former MS student Josh Copeland and resulted in the first chapter of this MS thesis. He collected Populus spp. samples from Niles Canyon, located east of Fremont, CA. This location is interesting because it is a hybrid zone between black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and Fremont’s cottonwood (Populus fremontii), leading to the establishment of a stable population of the hybrid Populus x parryi. We were able to sample from herbarium archival specimens at the California Academy of Sciences herbarium to verify the identity of the different individual trees.

From the field samples, he did a high-throughput culture- and Sanger- based sequencing analysis to quantify community makeup across different host types and over time. These samples were then also used as focal fungal taxa for quantifying Volatile Organic Compound analysis using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).