Location: Dairy Forage Research
Project Number: 5090-21000-056-26-S
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2014
End Date: Jun 30, 2016
1) Quantify infection rates of Neotyphodium uncinatum in meadow fescue pastures in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin; 2) Develop DNA markers for rapid and accurate assay of Neotyphodium uncinatum in meadow fescue tissue; 3) Determine if Neotyphodium uncinatum plays a role in regulating environmental stress tolerance of meadow fescue.
Immunoblot and microscope evaluations of 200 meadow fescue plants from each of 85 pastures will be used to quantify infection rates and to identify infected and non-infected plants. If non-infected plants are not found within pastures, seed samples from each pasture will be treated with heat to kill the endophyte. Simple sequence repeat DNA markers will be screened for positive identification of the endophyte in infected plants and to determine if all plants are infected with a single species of endophyte, or if there are multiple species in some pastures. Infected and non-infected plants will be intercrossed with each other in polycross blocks to create isofrequent half-sib families for field and glasshouse evaluations of fitness and stress tolerance (cold, heat, and drought).