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Effect of Fungal Endophytes on Biomass Yield, Nutritive Value and Accumulation of Minerals in Ornithopus compressus

Santamaria, Oscar, Lledó, Santiago, Rodrigo, Sara, Poblaciones, Maria J.
Microbial ecology 2017 v.74 no.4 pp. 841-852
Ornithopus compressus, Paecilomyces variotii, Stemphylium, aluminum, biomass production, crude protein, digestibility, endophytes, field experimentation, forage production, forage yield, fungi, greenhouses, lead, minerals, molybdenum, mycobiota, nutrient deficiencies, nutritive value, pastures, toxic substances, toxicity, Mediterranean region
Yellow serradella (Ornithopus compressus), a valuable pasture species in Mediterranean areas, presents a high diversity of endophytic mycoflora. In the present work, the hypothesis of a significant effect of fungal endophytic species on the parameters of forage production, nutritive value and mineral status of herbage was tested. O. compressus plants were inoculated with each of seven endophytes (four in 2012/2013 and three in 2013/2014). After inoculation, two experiments (under greenhouse and field conditions) were established. Results evidenced a certain influence of several endophytes on herbage yield, nutritive value and mineral status of O. compressus forage. Byssochlamys spectabilis increased herbage biomass yield by around 42% in the field experiment. Stemphylium sp. improved the nutritive value of forage either by increasing crude protein, digestibility and the concentration of essential minerals (such as B, Mo, P or S) or by reducing the concentration of toxic elements such as Al or Pb. In conclusion, the results presented here provide evidence that plant inoculation with endophytes could be a suitable strategy to increase forage yield and its nutritive value or to deal with potential nutrient deficiencies or potential mineral toxicity in forage.