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Does fire maintain symbiotic, fungal endophyte infections in native grasses?Author(s): S. H. Faeth; S. M. Haase; S. S. Sackett; T. J. Sullivan; R. H. Remington; C. E. Hamilton
Source: Symbiosis. 32(3): 211-228
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.0 MB)
DescriptionSystemic endophytic fungi in agronomic and turf grasses are well known for conferring increased resistance to herbivores and to abiotic stresses, such as drought, and increasing competitive abilities. Many native grasses also harbor high frequencies of the asexual and vertically-transmitted endophyte, Neotyphodium. In Festuca arizonica (Arizona fescue), frequency of Neotyphodium-infected plants is often high, but variable, within and among populations. However, Neotyphodium infections in native Arizona fescue, unlike infected agronomic grasses, do not increase resistance to herbivores, do not generally increase drought resistance and do not increase competitive abilities. Native grasses, however are often subjected to another important abiotic stress, fire, which is not normally associated with turf and pasture grasses. Endophyte-related resistance to frequent fires is an alternative explanation for the maintenance of high frequencies of this endophyte in native grasses. We tested the hypothesis that infection by Neotyphodium increases resistance to the direct and indirect effects of fire.
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CitationFaeth, S. H.; Haase, S. M.; Sackett, S. S.; Sullivan, T. J.; Remington, R. H.; Hamilton, C. E. 2002. Does fire maintain symbiotic, fungal endophyte infections in native grasses? Symbiosis. 32(3): 211-228.
KeywordsArizona fescue, endophytic fungi, Festuca arizonica, fire, mutualism, Neotyphodium, stress, symbiosis
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