Leaf endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum modifies mineral uptake in tall fescue
- Cite this article as:
- Malinowski, D.P., Alloush, G.A. & Belesky, D.P. Plant and Soil (2000) 227: 115. doi:10.1023/A:1026518828237
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Neotyphodium coenophialum (Morgan-Jones and Gams) Glenn, Bacon and Hanlin, a fungal endophyte found primarily in shoots of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shreb.), can modify rhizosphere activity in response to phosphorus (P) deficiency. In a controlled environment experiment, two cloned tall fescue genotypes (DN2 and DN4) free (E-) and infected (E+) with their naturally occurring endophyte strains were grown in nutrient solutions at low P (3.1 ppm) or high P (31 ppm) concentrations for 21 d. Endophyte infection increased root dry matter (DM) of DN4 by 21% but did not affect root DM of DN2. Under P deficiency, shoot and total DM were not affected by endophyte but relative growth rate was greater in E+ than E- plants. In high P nutrient solution, E+ plants produced 13% less (DN2) or 29% more (DN4) shoot DM than E- plants. Endophyte affected mineral concentrations in roots more than in shoots. Regardless of P concentration in nutrient solution, E+ DN2 accumulated more P, Ca, Zn and Cu but less K in roots than E- plants. When grown in high P nutrient solution, concentrations of Fe and B in roots of E+ DN2 plants were reduced compared with those of E- plants. Concentrations of P, Ca and Cu in roots of DN4 were less, but K was greater in E+ than E- plants. In shoots, E+ DN2 had greater concentrations of Fe and Cu than E- DN2, regardless of P concentration in nutrient solution. Genotype DN4 responded to endophyte infection by reducing B concentration in shoots. Nutrient uptake rates were affected by endophyte infection in plants grown in low P nutrient solution. A greater uptake rate of most nutrients and their transport to shoots was observed in DN2, but responses of DN4 were not consistent. Results suggest that endophyte may elicit different modes of tall fescue adaptation to P deficiency.