Submitted to: Mycological Society of America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 27, 2010
Publication Date: June 27, 2010
Citation: Bacon, C.W. 2010. Symbiotic grasses: A review of basic biology of forage grass fungal endophytes. Mycological Society of America. Jun 28-Jul 2,2010. Lexington, KY.
The fungal endophytes associated with grasses are the fundamental reason for the basic successes of several pasture grasses, notable tall fescues, and perennial ryegrass. Tall fescue and perennial ryegrass fungal endophytes, Neotyphodium coenophialum and N. lolii, respectively, and their relatives are the major foci of research for all topics of forage grasses improvements. We have made great strides in our understanding of the basis biology of these two fungal endophytes over the past thirty-years since the revelation that fungal endophytes are an important component of forage grasses. The biology of these fungi is reviewed. Data concerning the isolations, in vivo and in vitro manipulations of fungal endophytes as directed through years are assessed relative to the ability to determine preciseness of methods for production of basic toxins, and other analites. Data on the use of endophyte maintenance, natural infections, transfer into recipient hosts, validation of transfer and assessment are presented with resulting analysis of successful surrogate transformation of host grasses. Current approaches and assessments at infection of new hosts are described and analyzed relative to practicality, and success of methods. Attempts at genetic manipulations of the endophytes based on current molecular data are discussed, along with the need for additional information and plant breeding strategies useful to accommodate fungal endophytes for future uses.