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Crop Science Abstract -

Ergovaline Variability in Acremonium-Infected Tall Fescue Due to Environment and Plant Genotype


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 221-226
    Received: Apr 7, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. C. S. Agee and
  2. N. S. Hill 
  1. Crop and Soil Sciences Dep., Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602



Competitiveness and persistence of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is superior when infected with the endophyte, Acremonium coenophialum Morgan-Jones & Gams. Acremonium-derived ergopeptine alkaloids impair animal productivity, and if reduced or eliminated would improve animal performance. This study was conducted to determine: (i) environmental influence on ergovaline concentration in A. coenophialum-infected tall fescue genotypes, and (ii) the extent that plant genotype influences ergovaline production by the endophyte. A field experiment evaluated five endophyte-infected tall fescue genotypes grown at three locations (environments) during 2 yr. Plant genotypes, harvested every 28 d, differed in ergovaline concentration (P < 0.05) during spring months. Rank correlations of genotypes were high among harvest dates, locations, and years. A greenhouse experiment was used to evaluate ergovaline concentration among progeny from a reciprocal cross between a high- and a low-ergovaline tall fescue genotype. Parents differed in ergovaline concentration by 630 μg kg−1 but produced similar F1 progeny means that were not different from the midparent (415 μg kg−1). Both F1 populations had similar ranges for ergovaline (122-938 μg kg−1). Although subject to environmental influence, ergovaline production by tall fescue—Acremonium associations was partially dependent upon plant genotype.

Research supported by USDA Southern Regional IPM Grant no. 91-34103-5834.

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