Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Phillip Villani

Second Advisor

Nathan Hauck


The moss, Mnium cuspidatum and the fungus, Pythium irregulare, were used to study the role of the plant hormone, 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) and the elicitor, β-glucan in the prevention of fungal infection. Each compound was applied before the inoculation of a fungal cube and a combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses were done in order to determine the degree of infection within the moss. It was found that P. irregulare does infect and kill the cells of M. cuspidatum through chloroplast degradation, stem browning and appressoria injections within 24 hours. The pre-application of OPDA or β-glucan were unable to prevent or lessen the fungal infection. In future experiments, it is recommended that a cellophane cover be applied before the application of the moss and fungi so that the fungi does not grow into the medium and the moss does not soften from contact with the agar gel.