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Crop Science Abstract -

Sugar Alcohols in Endophyte-Infected Tall Fescue Under Drought


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 32 No. 4, p. 1060-1061
    Received: July 8, 1991

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. M. D. Richardson,
  2. G. W. Chapman Jr.,
  3. C. S. Hoveland and
  4. C. W. Bacon 
  1. Agronomy Dep., 3111 Miller Plant Sciences Bldg., Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
    Food Quality Evaluation Res. Unit
    Toxicology and Mycotoxin Res. Unit, R. B. Russell Res. Center, P.O. Box 5677, Athens, GA 30613



Infection of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) by a fungal endophyte (Acremonium coenophialum Morgan-Jones & Gains) improves drought tolerance, but the mechanism is unknown. Research was conducted to determine if endophyte-infected tall fescue subjected to drought stress accumulated sugar alcohols. An infected and uninfected clone of a ‘Kentucky 31’ tall fescue genotype was greenhouse grown in perlite at field capacity or −1.0 MPa for 7 d. Sugar alcohols and other soluble carbohydrates were identified in the leaf blades and sheath. Mannitol and arabitol were identified in sheaths of infected grasses, and arabitol accumulated in infected grasses under drought stress. Infected plants had greater concentrations of fructose and glucose in blades and higher glucose in sheaths than uninfected plants when grown under drought stress. We believe, therefore, that the higher carbohydrate accumulation in infected grasses contributes to osmotic potential and regrowth capacity of endophyte-infected grasses.

Joint contribution of the Univ. of Georgia and the USDA-ARS.

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