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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 May;59(5):1540-8.

Relationships among non-Acremonium sp. fungal endophytes in five grass species.

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546-0091.


Many cool-season grasses (subfamily Pooideae) possess maternally transmitted fungal symbionts which cause no known pathology and often enhance the ecological fitness and biochemical capabilities of the grass hosts. The most commonly described endophytes are the Acremonium section Albo-lanosa spp. (Acremonium endophytes), which are conidial anamorphs (strictly asexual forms) of Epichloƫ typhina. Other endophytes which have been noted are a Gliocladium-like fungus in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and a Phialophora-like fungus in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Here, we report the identification of additional non-Acremonium sp. endophytes (herein designated p-endophytes) in three more grass species: Festuca gigantea, Festuca arizonica, and Festuca pratensis. In each grass species, the p-endophyte was cosymbiotic with an Acremonium endophyte. Serological analysis and sequence determinations of variable portions of their rRNA genes indicated that the two previously identified non-Acremonium endophytes are closely related to each other and to the newly identified p-endophytes. Therefore, the p-endophytes represent a second group of widely distributed grass symbionts.

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