PRECS student projects

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019


Endophytes (endo = inside and phyte=plant) are microscopic fungi that live inside of the leaves of all species of plants and can have beneficial effects on their hosts. Previous work in our lab has shown a significant decrease of Sporobolomyces sp., an endophytic yeast, within soybean hosts exposed to elevated levels of CO₂. Sporobolomyces sp. has certain properties to enable them to act as natural biocontrol agents. This pink yeast may have untapped potential to protect crops from pathogenic organisms. If Sporobolomyces sp. interacts with fungal pathogens, it may have strong effects on other fungal endophytes in the community. The aim of this experiment was to examine how Sporobolomyces sp. interacts with endophytes isolated from soy leaves both in terms of fungal growth and phenotypic changes.


This research was conducted at the Heath Lab for Coevolutionary Gemonics,, Department of Plant Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1559908/1559929, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College.



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