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Title: Endophyte status of tall fescue (festuca arundinacea) affects seed predation

item Bartholomew, Paul
item Williams, Robert

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2011
Publication Date: 2/7/2011
Citation: Bartholomew, P.W., Williams, R.D. 2011. Endophyte status of tall fescue (festuca arundinacea) affects seed predation. Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts. 4(83) [Abstract].

Interpretive Summary: abstract only

Technical Abstract: In a preliminary study seed of a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) variety ‘Jesup’ without endophyte were consumed at a slightly higher rate by common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.) in a standard feeding trial than the same fescue variety with the endophyte. Although, the preference for the endophyte-free tall fescue was consistent among studies, there was no statistical difference between the Jesup free and the Jesup infected seed. To examine this question further we obtained seed of four tall fescue varieties: two varieties that were infected with endophyte and two varieties that were endophyte free. Using these varieties it was demonstrated that the endophyte free varieties consistently had higher, statistically different predation (78% and 42 % consumption over a 48-h period) as compared to the endophyte infected varieties (23% and 18% consumption over a 48-h period). These results combined with earlier results for the Jesup tall fescues indicate that the endophyte infected seed are avoided by crickets when feeding. The possibility that the presence of the endophyte provides seed with predator avoidance will be discussed.