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Veronica Hoac

Veronica Hoac
Project Title: 
Divergent mycorrhizal lineages have different morphology and colonization rates in a model grass
Program Year: 
Rachel Hestrin

This summer, I had the opportunity to work in Rachel Hestrin’s lab with Gabriella Griffen as my mentor. I learned about arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and was able to take a small part of a larger experiment to observe the colonization rate and morphology of two widely divergent fungi species, Archaeospora trappei and Rhizophagus intraradices. Ar. trappei is a more anciently diverged fungal species while R. intraradices is a more recently diverged fungal species. We used the fungi to infect the grass Brachypodium distachyon as it is a model species for cereal crops like wheat. These grasses were grown in individual cones in a growth chamber at the greenhouse and had different sampling taken each week. The focus of my project was colonization based for week 3 with complementary data of week 6. I also had the opportunity to learn microscopy from Rob Wick, who allowed me and my mentor to use his microscopes to capture high definition pictures of different colonization types and quantify colonization. I would like to thank all the people both directly and indirectly involved with this project; Rachel Hestrin, Gabriella Griffen, Aizah Khurram, Rob Wick, Charlotte Koch, and the CAFE Summer Scholars program.