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:11/6/2014)... Fla. -- A groundbreaking paper from a team of ... understanding of how plants could adapt to and survive ... research, published in the latest issue of the journal ... chromatin (the complex of DNA and proteins) is organized ... so that some genes are turned on and others ...
(Date:11/6/2014)... that predator runs so fast that it essentially blinds itself. ... fastest creature on Earth. Some of these half-inch-long beetles cover ... per hour). The fastest human can do about five body ... a person would have to hit 480 miles per hour. ... speeds, everything becomes a blur. They can,t gather enough light ...
(Date:11/5/2014)... the UTSA College of Sciences, is one of ... a two-year $300,00 National Science Foundation (NSF) Early ... supports President Obama,s BRAIN Initiative, a federal effort ... will demystify complex brain processes. , According ... into the interactions of multiple components, each working ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Maize analysis yields whole new world of genetic science 2The tiger beetle: Too fast to see 2UTSA biology professor awarded $300,000 NSF grant for brain research 2UTSA biology professor awarded $300,000 NSF grant for brain research 3
(Date:11/27/2014)... and PITTSFIELD, Massachusetts, USA (PRWEB) November 26, 2014 ... cells with more accuracy, additive systems to enable 3D ... safety by analyzing road conditions are among finalists in ... Photonics Innovation . The awards are sponsored by ... and Photonics Media . , Winners will be ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... 2014 The North America Thermal ... market for detailed analysis of the growth trends ... reach $616.3 million by 2018, growing at a ... Browse through the TOC of the North America ... idea of the in-depth analysis and industry segmentation ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... The Alliance for Safe Biologic ... European physicians at the "1 ST EuropaBio ... at the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services ... the Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO), included regulators from ... oncology and rheumatology societies, representatives from a hospital ...
(Date:11/26/2014)... NJ (PRWEB) November 25, 2014 ... has officially joined the Morris County (New Jersey) ... which is a leading business organization in the ... opportunity to further engage some key clients in ... operations in the geographic area. Membership enables Whitehouse ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 2Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 3Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 4Finalists Named for 2015 Prism Awards for Photonics Innovation 5The North America Thermal Protective Clothing Market is estimated to grow up to $616.3 million by 2018 - Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The North America Thermal Protective Clothing Market is estimated to grow up to $616.3 million by 2018 - Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3ASBM Presents European Physicians Survey at Spanish Ministry of Health 2Whitehouse Laboratories Joins Morris County Chamber of Commerce 2Whitehouse Laboratories Joins Morris County Chamber of Commerce 3
Cached News: