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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 78 No. 5, p. 848-850
    Received: Aug 26, 1985

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The Effect of the Fungal Endophyte Acremonium Coenophialum in Tall Fescue on Animal Performance, Toxicity, and Stand Maintenance1

  1. J. C. read and
  2. B. J. Camp2



Weight gains have been inconsistent and numerous health problems have been associated with animals grazing tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). This study was undertaken to determine the effect of the fungal endophyte, Acremonium coenophialum Morgan-Jones and Gams [syn. Epichloe typhina (Fries) Tulasne], on weight gains and symptoms of tall fescue toxicity of cattle. Grazing studies were started in the spring of 1982 and continued through the 1982–1983 and 1983–1984 grazing periods, on ‘Kenhy’ tall fescue having high and low levels of endophyte infection, at Dallas, TX, on Houston black clay soil (fine, montmorillonic, thermic Udic Pellusterts). Average daily gains were 0.46 kg and 0.97 kg for the high- and low-infested pastures, respectively. Animals on the high-infested pastures had elevated temperatures and rougher hair coats than those grazing the low-infested pastures. During the 1983–1984 grazing period, 5 of the 6 tester animals grazing on the high-infested pastures, had symptoms of ‘fescue foot’, whereas, none of the animals on the low-infested grass exhibited any symptoms. Forage production was low and there was a loss of stand in the pastures with low levels of the endophyte. This study supports previous research findings on the effect of the endophyte in tall fescue on animal weight gains, summer syndrome, and drought resistance. An association of this endophyte with fescue foot was observed.

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