Location: Bowdoin / Coastal Studies Center / Student Research / Summer 2011 / La'Shaye Ervin, '12 and Colin Oglive, '12

Coastal Studies Center

La'Shaye Ervin, '12 and Colin Oglive, '12

Advisor: Barry Logan, Award: Rusack Fellowship
Project: Proliferation of Eastern Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum) Infection in Red Spruce (Picea rubens) and White Spruce (Picea glauca) 


Eastern dwarf mistletoe is a plant that is completely dependent on the red or white spruce tree for survival. Dwarf mistletoe maintains two structures important for its success as a parasite, the endophytic growth and aerial shoots. It is known that the mistletoe manipulates the morphology of its host by altering the tree’s contents of abscisic acid (ABA). The most recognizable symptom of infection is vigorous and chaotic branch growth, known as witches’ broom. An interesting finding with respect to mistletoe infection is that red and white spruces have different tolerances to infection. White spruce usually die as a result of infection, whereas red spruce tolerate infection, often with few obvious indications of whole-tree stress. The mechanism underlying the difference in dwarf mistletoe tolerance of the two species is not known, however our project will provide information on the extent to which both species are endophyticaly penetrated by the parasite. Mistletoe appears to be capable of greater manipulation of host white spruce development and physiology, which benefits the parasite but hampers tree survival. We hypothesize that greater manipulation requires more intimate contact between the parasite and its host. Therefore, we hypothesize that the extent of parasitic penetration is greater in white spruce than red spruce. 


Pecha Kucha

These presentations are in PechaKucha format. PechaKucha is Japanese for ‘chit-chat’. It is a presentation methodology devised in 2003 in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each. The slides auto advance to keep the presentations concise and quick paced. Each presentation is (about) 6 minutes and 40 seconds long.
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