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Euphytica

, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 295–306 | Cite as

Grasses and Neotyphodium endophytes: co-adaptation and adaptive breeding

  • Herrick Sydney Easton
Original Paper

Abstract

Neotyphodium endophytes profoundly affect the biology of their host grasses, including the important forage species perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and meadow fescue. The endophytic association is finely balanced, involving adaptation in each associate. The evidence for co-adaptation is discussed. The presence of endophyte, and the difference between endophyte strains, can affect some plant properties more than genetic variation intrinsic to the host. Conversely, host genotype exerts significant influence on the activity of the endophyte. Control of endophyte status is essential in any grass breeding programme, and developing knowledge of endophyte and its role in a herbage association offers new opportunities to grass breeders.

Keywords

Grass breeding Endophyte Neotyphodium Toxicoses Symbiosis 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

Understanding the role of endophyte has been a collective effort, and I need to acknowledge my colleagues in AgResearch and in the New Zealand seed industry. In particular I acknowledge Mike Christensen, David Hume, Geoff Lane, Phil Rolston and Brian Tapper who have approved presentation here of unpublished data. Our research has been possible through support over many years from the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, and from Meat and Wool NZ (formerly Meat NZ, MRDC).

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied BiotechnologiesGrasslands Research Centre, AgResearchPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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