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Michelle Bryant

Doctor of Philosophy, (Genetics)
Study Completed: 2006
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Functional analysis of genes encoding hydrolytic enzymes in the interaction of epichloe festucae with perennial ryegrass

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Dr Bryant studied the role of enzymes produced by a fungal endophyte that forms a symbiotic association with perennial ryegrass. The endophyte enzymes are similar to enzymes from related plant pathogenic fungi. Ten endophyte genes that encode hydrolytic enzymes were identified. Two of these genes were expressed at higher levels during growth within the plant, suggesting these particular enzymes may be important for providing nutrients to the endophyte while it is growing in its host. Deletion of another gene encoding a hydrolytic enzyme affected the ability of the endophyte to degrade part of the fungal cell wall, which could potentially affect host infection by competing plant pathogenic fungi. Her research enhances our understanding of the endophyte-grass symbiosis and provides insights into relationships between symbiotic and pathogenic fungi.

Professor Barry Scott
Mr Gregory Bryan

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