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Occurrence of endophytes in grasses native to northern China

Wei, Y.K., Gao, Y.B., Xu, H., Su, D., Zhang, X., Wang, Y.H., Lin, F., Chen, L., Nie, L.Y., Ren, A.Z.
Grass and forage science 2006 v.61 no.4 pp. 422-429
Achnatherum, Agropyron mongolicum, Elymus, Koeleria, Neotyphodium, Poa palustris, ecosystems, endophytes, grasses, hosts, indigenous species, livestock, permanent grasslands, surveys, China
A survey of grass species associated with Neotyphodium and Epichloë fungal endophytes was made in the permanent grasslands of northern China. A total of 41 grass species, 56 sites and 172 local populations were examined to reveal endophytic infection of native grasses. Twenty-five of the forty-one species of grasses (proportionately 0·61) were infected by endophytes: twenty-two species had a mean infection rate of 0·01-0·50 and only three species had a mean infection >0·50. Of the 172 local populations examined, however, proportionately 0·72 were not infected, 0·181 had an infection rate of 0·01-0·50 and 0·099 had an infection rate of 0·51-1·00. Two genera of grasses, Cleistogenes and Koeleria, as well as twenty plant species, were previously unknown endophytic hosts in China. High infection rates (0·86-1·00) of plants of Achnatherum sibiricum were detected at all eleven sites studied. Other grasses in which high infection rates were found were Agropyron mongolicum, Roegneria turczaninovii, Agropyron elongate, Poa palustris and Poaangustifolia. It was concluded that endophytes are found widely in natural grass populations and that endophyte-grass interactions may have effects on ecosystems and livestock in the grasslands of northern China.