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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management Strategies for Plant-Parasitic Nematodes: Cover Crops, Amendments, and Internal Molecular Targets

Location: Nematology Laboratory

Title: Nematode suppression by endophyte-associated tall fescue

item Meyer, Susan
item Nyczepir, Andrew

Submitted to: International Congress of Plant Pathology Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2013
Publication Date: August 25, 2014
Citation: Meyer, S.L., Nyczepir, A.P. 2013. Nematode suppression by endophyte-associated tall fescue [abstract]. Acta Phytopathologica Sinica (Supplement). 43:511-512.

Technical Abstract: Tall fescue is planted as a forage and turf grass and a postplant ground cover for reducing soil erosion. It withstands drought and is resistant to various pests, including some plant-parasitic nematodes. The presence of the endophytic fungus Neotyphodium coenophialum can increase tall fescue growth and survival and the ability to survive drought. However, some strains of N. coenophialum produce ergot alkaloids that cause fescue toxicosis in grazing animals. Endophyte-friendly tall fescue is associated with fungal isolates that provide the beneficial characteristics without producing the ergot alkaloids. Some studies have indicated that root-derived compounds produced by tall fescue associated with the ergot alkaloid-producing endophyte may contribute to tall fescue resistance to nematodes. However, recent studies indicated that presence or absence of the endophyte status did not influence suppression of root-knot nematode reproduction on tall fescue. Consequently, planting of the endophyte-friendly tall fescue cv. Jesup (Max-Q) as a preplant ground cover was recently recommended as a sustainable approach for assisting in management of plant-parasitic nematodes on peach trees in the southeastern United States. While presence of the endophyte may not be essential for nematode management, the additional beneficial characteristics provided by the endophyte association may assist in providing enhanced vigor of the ground cover.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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