HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Fungus helps tall fescue choke out native plants

HOUSTON, Aug. 29, 2005 New research by biologists at Rice University, Indiana University and George Mason University reveals how some non-native fescue grass gets a leg up over competing native plants: it's passed over by plant-eating insects and animals because its leaves are laced with toxic alkaloids, thanks to a symbiotic fungus that has co-evolved with the grass.

In a 54-month study conducted at Indiana University, scientists showed that 'tall fescue,' a common variety that is infected with the symbiotic fungus Neotyphodium coenophialum, tended to choke out uninfected fescue and native plant species. Tall fescue took over test plots much more quickly when herbivores had full access.

The research appears in the Aug. 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

"The practical implications of our findings are that the more herbivores there are in an area, the more likely it will be that infected tall fescue grass will spread and suppress native plants," said co-author Jennifer Rudgers, now an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice.

Fescue, which is native to the Mediterranean, covers an estimated 37 million U.S. acres. It is cultivated for grazing and is often used as turf grass on lawns, golf courses and highway rights-of-way. Ranchers do not typically cultivate tall fescue because the symbiotic fungus it carries, known as an endophyte, produces alkaloids that have negative health effects for livestock. It is estimated that 80 percent of U.S. fescue is endophyte-infected, and in some applications, like turf grass, it's the preferred variety.

Prior research on hereditary plant symbionts like the fescue endophyte have tended to look at plant-fungal pairings in isolation. Rudgers said she, post-doc advisor Keith Clay of Indiana University, and co-author Jenny Holah of George Mason University sought to get a more realistic picture of the ecological effects of symbiosis. <
'"/>

Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
29-Aug-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Fungus-farming termites descend from an African rain forest Eve
2. Fungus-friendly scientists meet in Tucson
3. Fungus knocks a frog down but not out, raising questions about amphibian declines
4. Genetic variation helps to understand predisposition to schizophrenia
5. Link between sunspots, rain helps predict disease in east Africa
6. Taking a supplement of glycine helps prevent degenerative diseases such as arthrosis or osteoporosis
7. Progesterone therapy and preterm birth: More evidence helps identify women who can benefit
8. Nanotechnology helps scientists make bendy sensors for hydrogen vehicles
9. Preconditioning helps protect brains blood vessels from stroke
10. Manchester University helps with pharaoh DNA analysis
11. A spoonful of sugar helps your waistline go down

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Fungus helps tall fescue choke out native plants

(Date:10/15/2014)... ability to assess the pandemic risk from strains of ... must not allow ourselves to become complacent that the ... consortium of scientists. , Influenza pandemics arise when a ... to develop widespread immunity – spreads in the human ... past 100 years, the worst of which – the ...
(Date:10/15/2014)... 15, 2014 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ... on the growing mobile commerce market releases photos and video of ... on Monday October 13 th . Gino ... and angel investor Mr. Chad A. Verdi rang ... NXT-ID thanked his investors and employees "for their work and dedication ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... Ohio (Oct. 14, 2014)—It,s been millions of years since ... a team led by Ohio University scientists is breathing ... model airflow through dinosaur snouts. The research has important ... only breathe but to enhance the sense of smell ... ,nosy, animals," said Ohio University doctoral student Jason Bourke, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Scientists 'must not become complacent' when assessing pandemic threat from flu viruses 2Photo Release: NXT-ID Inc. Rings Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market October 13th 2Photo Release: NXT-ID Inc. Rings Opening Bell of the NASDAQ Stock Market October 13th 3Dinosaur breathing study shows that noses enhanced smelling and cooled brain 2Dinosaur breathing study shows that noses enhanced smelling and cooled brain 3
(Date:10/25/2014)... October 24, 2014 Today, Nerium International, ... the winners of its “Reflect Your Youth” contest, an ... only seen a difference in their skin since using ... new outlook on life as a result of their ... as an effort by Nerium International to inspire conversations ...
(Date:10/25/2014)... YORK , Oct. 24, 2014 ... Inc. (ACCP), a biopharmaceutical company advancing patient care ... 1-for-50 reverse split of its common stock effective ... 24, 2014. PlasmaTech,s common stock will trade on ... and temporary ticker symbol "ACCPD". After 20 days, ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... , Oct. 22, 2014 New test innovations ... in vitro diagnostic (IVD) test industry, especially as companies ... market researcher listed more than 25 testing innovations in ... the future of IVD products. Kalorama details the new approaches ... Worldwide Market for In Vitro Diagnostic Tests , ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments introduces its Open ... the pain management and clinical markets. The software increases ... by allowing users to highlight and review results that ... allows analysts to filter results by group or based ... eliminating the need to sift through analytes of no ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Nerium International™ Inspires Conversation About the Journey of Aging with “Reflect Your Youth” Contest 2PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Reverse Stock Split, Ticker Change and Launches New Corporate Website 2Report: Radical New IVD Test Approaches Key To Growth 2Report: Radical New IVD Test Approaches Key To Growth 3Shimadzu Releases QuantAnalytics Open Access LCMS Software Package for Clinical Applications 2
Cached News: