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To date, it's been commonly thought that endophytic bacteria and fungi have been horizontally transmitted onto the seed, however, vertical transmission from the parent plant to offspring (via seed) is becoming a more widespread phenomenon. Here, I explore the idea that vertically transmitted endophytic fungi exist in pre-dispersed seeds. It was also of interest to test whether fungi grown from these seeds influenced germination of their host, or seeds of other species. I find that E. rugosum, Solidago spp., and A. syriaca seeds harbor vertically transmitted endophytic fungi which morphologically appear to be of the same species. I find that Fungi isolated from E. rugosum seeds decreased germination of host seeds. I also further examine the relationship between fungi and non-host seeds by studying T. aestivum, R. sativus, and L. perenne seeds, and find that E. rugosum fungi and A. syriaca fungi can decrease germination in T. aestivum seeds.
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Sojka, Peter David, "Fungal Endophytes in Pre-Dispersed Seeds Can Influence Germination in Hosts and Non-Host Plant Species" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 14.
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