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  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: October 2013

5 - Molecular and genetic analysis of symbiosis expressed secondary metabolite genes from the mutualistic fungal endophytes Neotyphodium lolii and Epichloë festucae

from II - Bioactive molecules
    • By B. Scott, Centre for Functional Genomics Institute of Molecular Biosciences and Institute of Fundamental Sciences Massey University Private Bag 11 222 Palmerston North New Zealand, C. A. Young, Molecular Mycologist Forage Improvement Division The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. 2510 Sam Noble Pky Ardmore OK 73401 USA, A. Tanaka, Institute of Molecular Biosciences Massey University Private Bag 11 222 Palmerston North New Zealand, E. J. Parker, Institute of Fundamental Sciences Massey University Private Bag 11 222 Palmerston North New Zealand
  • Edited by G. D. Robson, University of Manchester, Pieter van West, University of Aberdeen, Geoffrey Gadd, University of Dundee
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511902451.006
  • pp 59-77

Summary

Introduction

Epichloë endophytes (Epichloë/Neotyphodium species) are an important group of clavicipitaceous fungi that form symbiotic associations (symbiota) with temperate grasses of the Pooideae subfamily (Scott, 2001a; Schardl, Leuchtmann & Spiering, 2004). These biotrophic fungi systemically colonize the intercellular spaces of leaf primordia, leaf sheaths and culms of vegetative tissue and the inflorescence of reproductive tissues. The asexual Neotyphodium species have no external growth stage and consequently form symptomless associations with their grass host where they are vertically transmitted through the seed following colonization of the developing ovule. Most of the sexual Epichloë species are also transmitted vertically but because of their ability to form external stromata on inflorescence tissue, can also be transmitted horizontally (Leuchtmann & Schardl, 1998; Schardl & Leuchtmann, 1999). The mating system is heterothallic (outcrossing) and in nature is mediated by anthomyiid flies (Botanophila spp.), which transfer spermatia between stromata (Bultman et al., 1995; Bultman et al., 1998). Formation of perithecia and release of ascospores into the environment provides a source of vegetative hyphae that give rise to conidia that subsequently infect new hosts, probably by way of colonization of the stigma and style of the host inflorescence (Chung & Schardl, 1997).

Taxonomy of epichloë endophytes

At least nine different Epichloë species are recognized including E. typhina, a broad host range species (Schardl & Wilkinson, 2000) and E. festucae, a natural symbiont of Festuca spp. (Leuchtmann, Schardl & Siegel, 1994). E. festucae is also capable of forming compatible associations with perennial ryegrass, Lolium perenne (Christensen et al.

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