Poplar for Biofuels: Endophytes to Increase Sustainability and Disease Resistance

Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest presents research with endophytes that is designed to improve the sustainability of poplar-based biofuel and bioproduct production.  Endophytes are beneficial microorganisms that live fully within plants without causing disease.  Although endophytes are present in most poplar trees, addition of specific endophyte strains from native poplar can have pronounced impacts on the growth and health of cultivated poplar varieties.  Endophytes have the potential to increase plant growth and disease resistance with fewer inputs.  

These natural symbionts can provide multiple benefits to the host plant such as fixing atmospheric nitrogen gas into ammonia fertilizer, solubilizing phosphate in the rhizosphere making this essential macronutrient available, producing phytohormones that promote plant growth, and increasing drought tolerance.  In addition, endophytes can also alter disease outcomes in their host plants.

What’s covered? 

  • An introduction to endophytes
  • How endophytes isolated from wild poplar and willow can improve the growth and health of poplar as well as other plants.
  • The range of effects endophytes can have on Melampsora rust, a major pathogen of poplar in plantation settings.


When: Wednesday, March 26 | 10:00 – 11:00 am PDT

Who should attend? Extension educators, potential landowners/growers, environmental scientists and professionals, ag and natural resource professionals, poplar and bioenergy researchers, and biomass producers.

Presenters: Sharon Doty, University of Washington and Posy Busby, University of Washington and University of Idaho.

Sponsored by:  Washington State University with funding from Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant no. 2011-68005-30407 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

This webinar is part of the Hardwood Biofuels webinar series. Find the series including archived presentations online at:

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Patricia Townsend, Shiba Kar, Nora Haider

Created by Nora Haider