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Epichloë endophytes affect the nutrient and fiber content of Lolium perenne regardless of plant genotype

AuthorsSoto Barajas, Milton Carlos ; Vázquez de Aldana, Beatriz R. ; Gómez Fuertes, Javier ; González Blanco, Virginia O. ; Zabalgogeazcoa, Iñigo
KeywordsEpichloë endophytes
Choke disease
Mineral content
Perennial ryegrass
Issue Date2016
CitationPlant and Soil 405(1-2): 265–277 (2016)
Abstract[Background and Aims] Epichloë endophytes inhabit aerial grass tissues but they can modify belowground processes that might affect host nutrient balance. We aimed to determine the effects of endophyte status (E+=endophyte-infected; E−=non-infected) and three Epichloë morphotypes (M1,M2,M3) on growth and nutrient content of a heterogeneous set of naturally infected asymptomatic plants of Lolium perenne. In addition, plant parameters were compared between asymptomatic E+ and plants with choke disease.
[Methods] A field experiment was conducted with 194 plants obtained from six natural populations (97E+, 97E−). For each E+ plant, the endophyte morphotype it hosted was known.
[Results] Endophyte-infected plants had significantly lower P, Ca, S, B, neutral detergent fiber and lignin contents, and higher Mn and digestibility than E−, independently of plant origin. Biomass production was affected by plant origin but not by endophytes. No effect of Epichloë morphotypes in any parameter was found. However, asymptomatic E+ and choke diseased plants differed in nutrients, fibers, and digestibility.
[Conclusions] An endophyte effect was detected in nutrient and fiber content, in spite of the heterogeneous constitution of the plant and fungal material used. The results obtained indicate that Epichloë may affect above and possibly underground processes involved in nutrient absorption, as well as plant quality, what may potentially affect litter decomposition processes.
Description25 páginas, 2 figuras, 6 tablas
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-015-2617-z
Appears in Collections:(IRNASA) Artículos
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