Pathogen Community Ecology Nontarget Host Impacts
Because our pathogen is a generalist that can potentially kill seeds of many different kinds of plants, especially other grasses, it is important to understand how it operates in a community context, and not just in terms of cheatgrass.
What it's about
What we did
What we found out
We have carried out a variety of experiments to examine how our pathogen affects seeds of many species, both at high inoculum loads in the laboratory and under more natural field conditions. We have also looked at how it interacts with other microorganisms.
We have confirmed that the pathogen has a wide host range in laboratory inoculation experiments at artificially high inoculum loads. In experiments under field inoculum loads, its impacts on native seed survival and seedling emergence are measurable but generally not large.
Dr. Julie Beckstead
Co-PI: Dr. Susan Meyer
Technical Support: Stephanie Carlson, Suzette Clement, Abbey Shuster, Bettina Schultz
Students: Kelly Bergen, Trevor Davis, Sandra Dooley, Heather Finch, Katie Merrill
Beckstead J, Meyer SE, Connolly BM, Huck MB, and Street LE. 2010. Cheatgrass facilitates spillover of a seed bank pathogen onto native grass species. J. Ecology 98:168–177.
Dooley, SR and Beckstead, J. 2010. Characterizing the interaction between a fungal seed pathogen and a deleterious rhizobacteria for cheatgrass control. Biological Control 53: 197-203.