The effect of endophyte infection on persistence of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) populations in two climatically contrasting Italian locations
L. Pecetti A C , M. Romani A , A. M. Carroni B , P. Annicchiarico A and E. Piano A
A CRA-Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Foraggere, viale Piacenza 29, 26900 Lodi, Italy.
B CRA-Istituto Sperimentale per le Colture Foraggere, via Crespellani 4, 09121 Cagliari, Italy.
C Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58(9) 893-899 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AR06423
Submitted: 30 December 2006 Accepted: 29 May 2007 Published: 28 September 2007
Endophytic fungi may reportedly improve summer persistence in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). The objective of this study was assessing whether endophytes contributed to better persistence in 2 climatically contrasting Italian locations (Sanluri, Mediterranean climate, 382 mm average rainfall; Lodi, subcontinental climate, 802 mm average rainfall). Twelve populations from Sardinia were evaluated for 4 years in each site with or without nitrogen application. The populations hosted either of 2 endophyte forms (long-conidia, Neotyphodium coenophialum; short-conidia, FaTG-2 group) and belonged to the European race of fescue (hosting N. coenophialum) or the Mediterranean race (hosting FaTG-2). Three European-race commercial varieties (hosting N. coenophialum) were included as controls. The evaluated material was present both in the endophyte-infected and the endophyte-free (after chemical treatment) status. Stand persistence was recorded at the end of each year. The effect of the endophyte presence on persistence was nil in the Mediterranean site and slightly positive in the subcontinental location. Populations of the 2 geographic races had contrasting behaviour in the 2 sites irrespective of their endophyte status. The Mediterranean-race populations persisted well in the Mediterranean environment but not in the subcontinental one, and the reverse occurred for the European-race germplasm (including the controls). The results suggest that Mediterranean conditions may be too extreme for any enhancement of persistence to be solely provided by the endophyte, and highlight the overwhelming importance of the physiological adaptation of the grass germplasm to target environment.
Additional keywords: drought tolerance, Mediterranean climate, conidia length, endophyte taxonomic grouping, genetic resources, genotype × environment interaction.
Perennial grasses of Mediterranean origin offer advantages for central western Victorian sheep pasture.
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
Effect of the tall fescue endophyte on plant response to environmental stress.
Modification and uses of endophyte-enhanced turfgrasses: a role for molecular technology.
Endophyte parasitism of tall fescue.
Journal of Production Agriculture
(1991) ‘Southern forages.’ (Potash & Phosphate Institute: Atlanta, GA)
Yield and persistence of tall fescue in southeastern coastal plain after removal of its endophyte.
Persistence of perennial cool-season grass and legume cultivars under continuous grazing by beef cattle.
Taxonomy of Acremonium endophytes of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) and perennial rye-grass (Lolium perenne).
Effects of fungal endophytes on the seed and seedling biology of Lolium perenne and Festuca arundinacea.
Incidence and diversity of Neotyphodium fungal endophytes in tall fescue from Morocco, Tunisia, and Sardinia.
Rhizome and herbage production of endophyte-removed tall fescue clones and populations.
Changes in Neotyphodium coenophialum infestation levels in tall fescue pastures due to different grazing pressures.
Growth, morphological, and chemical component responses of tall fescue to Acremonium coenophialum.
Note sur les caractères agronomiques des hybrides entre fétuques élevées (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) européennes et méditerranéennes avant et après doublement. Effets de la sélection dans les amphidiploïdes.
Annales Amélioration des Plantes
Adaptation of endophyte-infected cool-season grasses to environmental stresses: mechanisms of drought and mineral stress tolerance.
(1973) Alkaloids in reed canarygrass. In ‘Anti-quality components of forages. CSSA Special Publ. 4’. (Ed. AG Matches) pp. 15–31. (CSSA: Madison, WI)
Summer dormancy in Festuca arundinacea Schreb.; the influence of season of sowing and a simulated mid-summer storm on two contrasting cultivars.
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
Specificity of host-endophyte association in tall fescue populations from Sardinia, Italy.
(1990) Bio-morphological characterization and agronomical evaluation of tall fescue populations from Sicily, Italy. In ‘Development and preservation of low input Mediterranean pastures and fodder systems. 6th Meeting FAO European Sub-network on Mediterranean Pastures and Fodder Crops’. pp. 115–120. (University of Bari: Bari, Italy)
Improving tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) for cool-season vigour.
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
Seed production in tall fescue as affected by fungal endophyte.
(1996) Tall fescue. In ‘Cool-season forage grasses’. (Eds LE Moser, DR Buxton, MD Casler) pp. 484–488. (ASA, CSSA, SSSA: Madison, WI)
Influence of fodder crop rotations on the potential weed flora in the irrigated lowlands of Lombardy, Italy.
European Journal of Agronomy
Animal preference of tall fescue during reproductive growth in the spring.
Drought survival in Dactylis glomerata and Festuca arundinacea under similar rooting conditions in tubes.
Plant and Soil
Endophyte effects on growth and persistence of tall fescue along a water-supply gradient.
(1997) The evolution of mutualism in grass-endophyte associations. In ‘Neotyphodium/Grass interactions’. (Eds CW Bacon, NS Hill) pp. 13–25. (Plenum Press: New York and London)