Project Director

Craddock, J. Hill

Department Examiner

Barbosa, Jose; Kovach, Margaret


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Ectomycorrhizas play several essential roles in the biosphere and have immeasurable implications on the ecosystems in which they exist. Much has been discovered about the relationships between ectomycorrhizal fungi and the trees with which they associate, but there is still much to learn. Due to the nature of ectomycorrhizal morphology, DNA analysis is frequently required in order to accurately identify the fungal partner. Some ectomycorrhizal fungi produce above-ground fruiting bodies that presumably contain the same DNA sequences as the fungi encapsulating corresponding plant root tips below the soil; these fruiting bodies have been frequently observed growing in nursery containers at the UTC Fortwood Street nursery. We hypothesized that DNA extracted from fruiting bodies found in these containers would match the DNA of fungi enveloping the tree’s root tips. Additionally, we hypothesized that the variety of sequences produced by ectomycorrhizal root tips may display a greater diversity of mycorrhizal fungi than is represented by hypergeous fruiting bodies alone. In the course of this thesis, genomic DNA was extracted from mycorrhizal American chestnut root tips and fruiting bodies found in nursery containers at the Fortwood Street nursery; the DNA underwent PCR and was purified prior to sequencing and BLAST alignment. However, due to complications in the preparation of DNA for sequencing and the finite timeframe provided, the results of this project are limited. An ITS sequence from one fruiting body was successfully amplified and sequenced; the identity of this sporocarp was determined to be the obligate ectomycorrhizal fungus Hebeloma hiemale s.l.


UTC URaCE SEARCH Award: provided funding required to complete this project The American Chestnut Foundation: provided trees from which samples were taken Dr. Hill Craddock: provided guidance and materials for the completion of this research Dr. Jose Barbosa: allowed use of his lab and provided reagents along with wisdom Dr. Margaret Kovach: provided advice and direction essential for the completion of this thesis


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




American chestnut; Ectomycorrhizas; Mycorrhizas


American chestnut; Castanea dentata; dna; ectomycorrhiza; fungi; mycorrhiza


Plant Biology

Document Type



27 leaves.







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Plant Biology Commons