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The effect of endophyte on the performance of irrigated perennial ryegrasses in subtropical Australia

Lowe, K.F. and Bowdler, T.M. and Hume, D.E. and Casey, N.D. and Tapper, B.A. (2008) The effect of endophyte on the performance of irrigated perennial ryegrasses in subtropical Australia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 59 (6). pp. 567-577.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AR08019

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/

Abstract

The effect of fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium lolii) infection on the performance of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) growing under irrigation in a subtropical environment was investigated. Seed of 4 cultivars, infected with standard (common toxic or wild-type) endophyte or the novel endophyte AR1, or free of endophyte (Nil), was sown in pure swards, which were fertilised with 50 kg N/ha.month. Seasonal and total yield, persistence, and rust susceptibility were assessed over 3 years, along with details of the presence of endophyte and alkaloids in plant shoots. Endophyte occurrence in tillers in both the standard and AR1 treatments was above 95% for Bronsyn and Impact throughout and rose to that level in Samson by the end of the second year. Meridian AR1 only reached 93% while, in the standard treatment, the endophyte had mostly died before sowing. Nil Zendophyte treatments carried an average of ?0.6% infection throughout. Infection of the standard endophyte was associated with increased dry matter (DM) yields in all 3 years compared with no endophyte. AR1 also significantly increased yields in the second and third years. Over the full 3 years, standard and AR1 increased yields by 18% and 11%, respectively. Infection with both endophytes was associated with increased yields in all 4 seasons, the effects increasing in intensity over time. There was 27% better persistence in standard infected plants compared with Nil at the end of the first year, increasing to 198% by the end of the experiment, while for AR1 the improvements were 20 and 134%, respectively. The effect of endophyte on crown rust (Puccinia coronata) infection was inconsistent, with endophyte increasing rust damage on one occasion and reducing it on another. Cultivar differences in rust infection were greater than endophyte effects. Plants infected with the AR1 endophyte had no detectable ergovaline or lolitrem B in leaf, pseudostem, or dead tissue. In standard infected plants, ergovaline and lolitrem B were highest in pseudostem and considerably lower in leaf. Dead tissue had very low or no detectable ergovaline but high lolitrem B concentrations. Peramine concentration was high and at similar levels in leaf and pseudostem, but not detectable in dead material. Concentration was similar in both AR1 and standard infected plants. Endophyte presence appeared to have a similar effect in the subtropics as has been demonstrated in temperate areas, in terms of improving yields and persistence and increasing tolerance of plants to stress factors.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Animal Science
Additional Information:© CSIRO.
Keywords:Alkaloids; ergovaline; lolitrem B; novel endophyte; peramine; persistence; yield.
Subjects:Science > Botany > Cryptogams
Plant pests and diseases > Individual or types of plants or trees
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Plant pests and diseases > Plant pathology
Deposited On:29 Jan 2009 05:14
Last Modified:11 Apr 2011 07:17

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