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Variation in Genetic Markers and Ergovaline Production in Endophyte (Neotyphodium)-Infected Fescue Species Collected in Italy, Spain, and Denmark


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 47 No. 1, p. 139-147
    Received: Oct 4, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): amdj@kvl.dk
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  1. Anne Mette Dahl Jensen *a,
  2. Lisbeth Mikkelsenb and
  3. Niels Roulundc
  1. a Dept. of Genetics and Biotechnology, the Danish Inst. of Agric. Sciences, Research Centre Flakkebjerg, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark. A.M.D. Jensen's present address: The Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, The Royal Veterinary and Agric. Univ., Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C
    b Dep. of Plant Biology, Section for Plant Pathology, The Royal Veterinary and Agric. Univ., Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C., Denmark
    c DLF-Trifolium A/S, Post-box 19, Højerupvej 31, DK-4660 St. Heddinge, Denmark


Festuca populations (Festuca arundinacea, Festuca pratensis, and Festuca rubra) from Italy, Spain, and Denmark were investigated for Neotyphodium infection, ergovaline production, and 14 microsatellite markers. Endophytes were detected in 57, 54, and 100% of the locations surveyed in Italy, Spain, and Denmark, respectively. This is the first report of F. arundinacea endophytes from seminatural grasslands in Denmark. Sixty-seven percent of the F. rubra and 100% of the F. pratensis populations were infected. Ergovaline production varied, even within populations. A dendrogram based on microsatellite length polymorphisms separated endophytes of each Festuca species. In addition, Danish F. arundinacea endophytes were separate from the other F. arundinacea endophytes. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) demonstrated a pronounced genetic variation of F. arundinacea endophytes between countries and within the Italian and Spanish locations. Sampling strategy of endophyte-infected Festuca spp. was evaluated by occurrence and genetic diversity. Sampling a large number of plants within locations for each of the “European geographical subgroups” is the suggested strategy for obtaining a genetically diverse array of Neotyphodium endophytes.

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