Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Philip Villani


The moss Amblystegium serpens and the pathogenic fungus Pythium irregulare were used to study plant-pathogen interactions in a non-vascular plant. The major findings in this report include that P. irregulare does infect A. serpens but entire moss death was not noted, 25°C is the optimum temperature for P. irregulare appressoria formation, most appressoria were found on A. serpens leaves, and the SAR response within A. serpens seems to be reducing the number of P. irregulare penetrated moss cells. Future research on the pathogen defense mechanisms of A. serpens is important and promising. When we elucidate these complex chemical processes in “simpler” model systems such as A. serpens, we can then apply this information to increase the yields of economically important agricultural plants such as corn (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max).