, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 1–5 | Cite as

Fungal endophytes of grasses and their effects on an insect herbivore

  • Keith Clay
  • Tad N. Hardy
  • Abner M. HammondJr.
Original Papers


The effects of endophytic fungi (Tribe Balansiae, Clavicipitaceae, Ascomycetes) of grasses on an insect herbivore were studied by feeding paired groups of larvae of the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda, Noctuidae, Lepidoptera) leaves from either infected or uninfected individuals. Perennial ryegrass infected by “the Lolium endophyte”, tall fescue infected by Epichloe typhina, dallisgrass infected by Myriogenospora atramentosa, Texas wintergrass infected by Atkinsonella hypoxylon, and sandbur infected by Balansia obtecta were utilized. The endophytes of ryegrass and fescue previously have been shown to be toxic to mammalian herbivores and to deter feeding of some insect herbivores. In this study we extend the antiherbivore properties of those endophytes to the fall armyworm and demonstrate that fungal endophytes in three other genera have similar antiherbivore properties. For most grasses, survival and weights of fall armyworm larvae fed infected leaves were significantly lower and larval duration was significantly longer compared to larvae fed uninfected leaves. Resistance to herbivores may provide a selective advantage to endophyte-infected grasses in natural populations.


Natural Population Paired Group Endophytic Fungus Selective Advantage Insect Herbivore 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Clay
    • 1
  • Tad N. Hardy
    • 2
  • Abner M. HammondJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Entomology, Louisiana State Agricultural Experiment StationLouisiana State University Agricultural CenterBaton RougeUSA

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