Article

Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 3301-3315

First online:

Fungal endophyte-infected grasses: Alkaloid accumulation and aphid response

  • M. R. SiegelAffiliated withPlant Pathology Department, University of Kentucky
  • , G. C. M. LatchAffiliated withDepartment of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • , L. P. BushAffiliated withAgronomy Department, University of Kentucky
  • , F. F. FanninAffiliated withAgronomy Department, University of Kentucky
  • , D. D. RowanAffiliated withDepartment of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • , B. A. TapperAffiliated withDepartment of Scientific and Industrial Research
  • , C. W. BaconAffiliated withR.B. Russell Agricultural Research Center, USDA/ARS
  • , M. C. JohnsonAffiliated withBiology Department, Georgetown College

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Abstract

The occurrence of the alkaloidsN-formyl andN-acetyl loline, peramine, lolitrem B, and ergovaline and the response of aphids to plants containing these compounds were determined in species and cultivars ofFestuca,Lolium, and other grass genera infected with fungal endophytes (Acremonium spp., andEpichloe typhina). Twenty-nine of 34 host-fungus associations produced one or more of the alkaloids, most frequently peramine or ergovaline. Three alkaloids (lolines, peramine, and ergovaline) were found in tall fescue and in perennial ryegrass infected withA. coenophialum, while peramine, lolitrem B, and ergovaline were present in perennial ryegrass and in tall fescue infected withA. lolii and inF. longifolia infected withE. typhina. WhileA. coenophialum andA. lolii produced similar patterns of alkaloids regardless of the species or cultivar of grass they infected, isolates ofE. typhina produced either no alkaloids or only one or two different alkaloids in the grasses tested. Aphid bioassays indicated thatRhopalosiphum padi andSchizaphis graminum did not survive on grasses containing loline alkaloids and thatS. graminum did not survive on peramine-containing grasses. Ergovaline-containing grasses did not affect either aphid.

Key Words

Endophyte-infected grasses Acremonium endophytes Epichloe typhina grass alkaloids lolines ergovaline peramine lolitrem B aphid responses plant resistance to herbivory Rhopalosiphum padi Schizaphis graminum Homoptera Aphididae