Seed Transmission of Endophytic Fungus, Neotyphodium occultans, in Cross Breeding of Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) Using Detached Panicle Culture, and Comparison with Situations in Interspecific/Intergeneric crossings including Festuca species
Neotyphodium species are seed-transmitted endophytic fungi that form mutualistic (symbiotic) associations with grasses of the subfamily Pooideae, and their presence can increase stress tolerance of host grasses. Italian (annual) ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) clones infected with N. occultans were pollinated by pollen from annual ryegrass and perennial ryegrass (L. perenne) using detached panicles, and from tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) by conventional bagging, as part of studies on the use of this endophytic fungus to enhance productivity of this important forage grass and also of interspecific/intergeneric hybrids. In mating involving L. multiflorum, 64–100% seed transmission ratios of the fungus were observed among 13 cross-combinations, along with one exceptional case of no infection. In mating with L. perenne 53–100% transmission was observed, whereas less than 30% transmission was observed in crosses involving F. arundinacea. The results indicated that the symbiont can be seed transmitted through mating using detached panicles, and the possibility of poor compatibility between N. occultans and some L. multiflorum genotypes as well as with L .perenne and F. arundinacea.
KeywordsEndophytic Fungus Tall Fescue Perennial Ryegrass Fungal Endophyte Italian Ryegrass
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