Fungal Endophytes Associated with Plants on Remediated Mine Tailings and Uncontaminated Soils.
Rhonda Schmidt, Sally Brown, and Russel Rodriguez. Univ of Washington, Po Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195
A study is being conducted examining the role of endophytic fungi in allowing plants to successfully grow on lead/zinc mine tailings at Smelterville, Idaho. Previous studies have shown endophytic fungi play a role in protecting plants from heat, salt and drought stress. Endophytic fungi are being compared in plants growing on compost-amended mine tailings and the same plants growing on non-contaminated soil. Endophytic fungi will be isolated and cultured and identified, and model plants will be inoculated with the isolated fungi. Model plants will be subjected to metal stress under laboratory conditions. Plant growth will be assessed to determine if the endophytic fungi are helping the plants tolerate the metal-induced stress.