A fungal endosymbiont of the grass Bromus setifolius: Distribution in some Andean populations, identification, and examination of beneficial properties

James White, R. F. Sullivan, G. A. Balady, Thomas Gianfagna, Q. Yue, William Meyer, D. Cabral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Endophyte infection levels were estimated in populations of the grass Bromus setifolius at several sites in the Andes Mountains in South America. The endophyte was identified as pertaining to the Neotyphodium tembladerae clade using sequence data. A high percentage of grass individuals infected by the endophyte was found in populations located in communities that contained leaf-cutting ants (Acromyrmex sp.). N. tembladerae was found to produce two mycotoxins (ergovaline and peramine) that are known to be toxic to insect herbivores. Feeding experiments demonstrated that fall armyworms preferred endophyte-free B. setifolius over endophyte-infected B. setifolius when given the option of both. The results of this investigation support the defensive mutualism hypothesis that defense of the host from herbivores is a basis for the mutualistic association between clavicipitaceous endosymbionts and host grasses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-257
Number of pages17
JournalSymbiosis
Volume31
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Fingerprint

Bromus
Endophytes
endosymbionts
Poaceae
endophytes
grasses
Herbivory
Population
Neotyphodium
herbivores
ergovaline
Acromyrmex
leaf-cutting ants
Andes region
Symbiosis
Ants
Spodoptera frugiperda
South America
Mycotoxins
Poisons

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • Endophyte
  • Epichloë
  • Evolution
  • Fungi
  • Leaf-cutting ants
  • Neotyphodium

Cite this

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abstract = "Endophyte infection levels were estimated in populations of the grass Bromus setifolius at several sites in the Andes Mountains in South America. The endophyte was identified as pertaining to the Neotyphodium tembladerae clade using sequence data. A high percentage of grass individuals infected by the endophyte was found in populations located in communities that contained leaf-cutting ants (Acromyrmex sp.). N. tembladerae was found to produce two mycotoxins (ergovaline and peramine) that are known to be toxic to insect herbivores. Feeding experiments demonstrated that fall armyworms preferred endophyte-free B. setifolius over endophyte-infected B. setifolius when given the option of both. The results of this investigation support the defensive mutualism hypothesis that defense of the host from herbivores is a basis for the mutualistic association between clavicipitaceous endosymbionts and host grasses.",
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A fungal endosymbiont of the grass Bromus setifolius : Distribution in some Andean populations, identification, and examination of beneficial properties. / White, James; Sullivan, R. F.; Balady, G. A.; Gianfagna, Thomas; Yue, Q.; Meyer, William; Cabral, D.

In: Symbiosis, Vol. 31, No. 4, 01.01.2001, p. 241-257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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