Growth and Water Status in Meadow Fescue is Affected by Neotyphodium and Phialophora Species Endophytes
- D. Malinowski,
- A. Leuchtmann,
- D. Schmidt and
- J. NÖsberger
- I nst. of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology, CH-8092 ZÜrich, Switzerland;
G eobotanical Inst., Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology, CH-8008 ZÜrich, Switzerland;
A gricultural Res. Stn, Changins, CH-1260 Nyon, Switzerland;
I nst. of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology, CH-8092 ZÜrich, Switzerland.
Growtahn dw aters tatus in meadofwes cue (Festucae latior L.; syn. F. pratensis Huds.) is affected by Neotyphodiuman and Phialophora endophytes. Meadowre scue is often infected with Neotyphodium uncinatum(Gams,Petrini & Schmidt)Glenn, Bacon,Price & Hanlin or cosymbioticallyw with this and a Phialophora-like endophyte. In a growth chamber experiment, we determined the influence of these endophyteos on selected growth attributes and plant water status of one genotype of meadow fescue. Single plants of clone M1 free of endophytes( E-) or infected with N. uncinatum(N ), Phialophora like endophyte(P ), or both endophytes( NP) were adequately irrigated (control plants) or subjected to a gradually established soil waterd eficit for 26 d (stressed plants). Afterwardss, tressed plants were rewatered and allowed to regrow for 4 wk. Cumulative herbage dry matter (DM) yield was greater in P plants by 7.5% compared with N plants, generally. ControlP plants producedm orer oot DM thanE - andN Pp lants. RootD Min N plants wass ignificantly greater during recovery from drought, compared with P and NP plants (36%). Tiller number of NP plants was the lowest among endophyte treatments in the predrought period. In response to waters tress, P plants produce more tillers than E - plants (24%), but average tiller weight of P plants was lower than in E- plants (14%). During imposed waters tress, stomatal conductanc(ge) and leaf water potential (ΨL) decreasedin all plant-endophyate associations to a similar extent. At severe soil water deficit, however N plants had significantly lower (g3) and ΨL than the other plant-endophyte associations. Control plants benefited from the symbiosis with endophytes by increasing root growth( both endophytes) and shoot growth( Phialophora-like endophyte). Plants infected with N. uncinatum were potentially able to adjust to soil water depletion earlier, suggesting a greater potential for adaptation to drough
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