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:10/18/2014)... In a sample of patients with undiagnosed, suspected genetic ... associated with a higher molecular diagnostic yield than traditional ... JAMA . The study is being released to ... meeting. , Exome sequencing, which sequences the protein­coding region ... genetic material present in a cell or organism), has ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... on the human body. Battles are won, lost ... cancer, this stalemate—known as tumor dormancy—can last up ... phenomena that is poorly understood. , A ... Salvatore Torquato, a Professor of Chemistry at Princeton ... dormancy and the switch to a malignant state. ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... infections and worldwide claims the lives of 160,000 ... University have succeeded in developing a promising vaccination ... , Xavier Saelens (VIB/UGent): "We discovered a new ... development of a novel approach to vaccination against ... small children and elderly people." , RSV: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Study examines type of exome sequencing and molecular diagnostic yield 2Study examines type of exome sequencing and molecular diagnostic yield 3Modeling tumor dormancy 2New perspectives for development of an RSV vaccine 2
(Date:10/19/2014)... The Asian Orthopedic braces and support systems ... analysis and forecast of revenue. The Orthopedic braces and support ... $416.5 million by 2018, at a developing CAGR of 4.4% ... the Asian Orthopedic braces and support systems market, to get ... a glimpse of the segmentation of orthopedic braces and support ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... The report "1,6-Hexanediol Market by Application ... 2019", analyzes the global market on the basis ... industry details such as the key drivers, current ... , Browse 81 Market Data Tables and 29 ... on “1,6-Hexanediol Market by Application and by Geography ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... The Biomass Power industry ... years to 2014. The industry's expansion has been propelled ... that encouraged the use of biomass power. Furthermore, the ... which require local utilities to generate electricity from renewable ... Increased campaigning for green technology also influenced industry performance ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... WASHINGTON, Oct. 16—As in Alice,s journey through the looking-glass ... behave in surprising and unexpected ways, including a new ... , As reported today in The Optical Society,s (OSA) ... have demonstrated, for the first time, a new type ... and instead reflects infrared light by using an unusual ...
Breaking Biology Technology:The Asian Orthopedic braces and support systems market is estimated to grow to around $416.5 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asian Orthopedic braces and support systems market is estimated to grow to around $416.5 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asian Orthopedic braces and support systems market is estimated to grow to around $416.5 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 41,6-Hexanediol Market Projected to Reach $916.1 Million at a CAGR of 8.3% by 2019 – Report by MarketsandMarkets 21,6-Hexanediol Market Projected to Reach $916.1 Million at a CAGR of 8.3% by 2019 – Report by MarketsandMarkets 31,6-Hexanediol Market Projected to Reach $916.1 Million at a CAGR of 8.3% by 2019 – Report by MarketsandMarkets 41,6-Hexanediol Market Projected to Reach $916.1 Million at a CAGR of 8.3% by 2019 – Report by MarketsandMarkets 5Biomass Power in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated 2Biomass Power in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated 3Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 2Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 3Magnetic mirrors enable new technologies by reflecting light in uncanny ways 4
Cached News: