Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 374–380 | Cite as

Impact of the fungus Balansia henningsiana on Panicum agrostoides: frequency of infection, plant growth and reproduction, and resistance to pests

  • Keith Clay
  • Gregory P. Cheplick
  • Susan Marks
Original Papers

Summary

The impact of the systemic fungus Balansia henningsiana (Clavicipitaceae) on the grass Panicum agrostoides was examined in field and greenhouse studies comparing infected and uninfected plants. Approximately one-half of all plants in three populations located in southern Indiana were infected. In field samples and greenhouse studies infected plants were significantly heavier than uninfected plants and produced significantly more tillers. Infection tended to suppress flowering but occasional asymptomatic tillers on infected plants produced healthy inflorescences. Although infected plants produced fewer inflorescences than uninfected plants as a proportion of total tillers, absolute numbers of inflorescences were similar in the two groups. Because other grasses infected by different species of Balansia and related fungi often are more resistant to insect damage, pest damage was quantified in one population. No differences between infected and uninfected plants were detected in levels of herbivory but infected plants had significantly less damage by the common leaf spot fungus Alternaria triticina. The results suggest that there is no selective disadvantage for plants infected by B. henningsiana.

Key words

Panicum agrostoides Balansia henningsiana Fungal endophyte Growth Herbivory 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander HM, Antonovics J (1988) Disease spread and population dynamics of anther-smut infestation of Silene alba caused by the fungus Ustilago violacea. J Ecol 76:91–104Google Scholar
  2. Antonovics J, Ellstand NC (1984) Experimental studies of the evolutionary significance of sexual reproduction. I. A test of the frequency-dependent hypothesis. Evolution 38:103–115Google Scholar
  3. Augspurger CK, Kelly CK (1984) Pathogen mortality of tropical tree seedlings: experimental studies of the effects of dispersal distance, seedling density, and light conditions. Oecologia 61:211–217Google Scholar
  4. Bradshaw AD (1959) Population differentiation in Agrostis tenuis Sibth. II. The incidence and significance of infection by Epichloe typhina. New Phytol 58:310–315Google Scholar
  5. Burdon JJ (1987) Diseases and Plant Population Biology. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheplick GP, Clay K (1988) Acquired chemical defenses in grasses: the role of fungal endophytes. Oikos 52:309–318Google Scholar
  7. Cheplick GP, Clay K, Marks S (1989) Interactions betwen fungal endophyte infection and nutrient limitation in the grasses Lolium perenne and Festuca arundinacea. New Phytol 111:89–97Google Scholar
  8. Clay K (1984) The effect of the fungus Atkinsonella hypoxylon (Clavicipitaceae) on the reproductive system and demography of the grass Danthonia spicata. New Phytol 98:165–175Google Scholar
  9. Clay K (1986) Grass Endophytes. In: Fokkema NJ, Heuvel J van den (eds) Microbiology of the Phyllosphere. Cambridge University Press, London. pp 188–204Google Scholar
  10. Clay K (1987) Effects of fungal endophytes on the seed and seedling biology of Lolium perenne and Festuca arundinacea. Oecologia 73:358–362Google Scholar
  11. Clay K (1988) Clavicipitaceous endophytes of grasses: Coevolution and the change from parasitism to mutualism. In: Hawksworth D, Pirozynski K (eds) Coevolution of Fungi with Plants and Animals. Academic Press, London, pp 79–105Google Scholar
  12. Clay K, Hardy TN, Hammond AM Jr (1985) Fungal endophytes of grasses and their effects on an insect herbivore. Oecologia 66:1–6Google Scholar
  13. Diehl WW (1950) Balansia and the Balansiae in America. Agric Monogr 4. U.S.D.A., Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  14. Harberd DJ (1961) Note on choke disease of Festuca rubra. Scot Pl Br Sta Rep 1961:47–51Google Scholar
  15. Hitchcock AS (1951) Manual of the grasses of the United States. 2nd Ed. (Revised by A. Chase). USDA Misc Publ 200Google Scholar
  16. Kelley SE, Clay K (1987) Interspecific competition interactions and the maintenance of genotypic variation within the populations of two perennial grasses. Evolution 41:92–103Google Scholar
  17. Latch GCM, Hunt WF, Musgrave DR (1985) Endophytic fungi affect growth of perennial ryegrass. N Z J Agric Res 28:165–168Google Scholar
  18. Lewis DH (1973) The relevance of symbiosis to taxonomy and ecology with particular reference to mutualistic symbioses and the exploitation of marginal habitats. In: Heywood VH (ed) Taxonomy and Ecology. Academic Press, London, pp 151–172Google Scholar
  19. Lewis DH (1988) Evolutionary aspects of mutualistic associations between fungi and photosynthetic organism. In: Rayner ADM, Brasier CM, Moore D (eds) Evolutionary Biology of the Fungi. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, pp 161–178Google Scholar
  20. Paul ND, Ayres PG (1987) Survival, growth, and reproduction of groundsel (Senecio vulgaris L) infected by rust (Puccinia lagenophorae) in the field during summer. J Ecol 75:61–71Google Scholar
  21. Parker MA (1985) Local population differentiation for compatibility in an annual legume and its host-specific fungal pathogen. Evolution 39:713–723Google Scholar
  22. Read JC, Camp BJ (1986) The effect of the fungal endophyte Acremonium coenophialum in tall fescue on animal performance, toxicity, and stand maintenance. Agron J 78:848–850Google Scholar
  23. Rykard DM, Bacon CW, Luttrell ES (1985) Host relations of Myriogenospora atramentosa and Balansia epichloe (Clavicipitaceae). Phytopathology 75:950–956Google Scholar
  24. SAS Institute, Inc (1985) SAS user's guide: statistics, version 5 edition. Cary, NCGoogle Scholar
  25. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1981) Biometry: the pronciples and practice of statistics in biological research. 2nd Ed. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  26. Stovall M, Clay K (1988) The effect of the fungus Balansia cyperi on growth and reproduction of purple nutsedge, Cyperus rotundus. New Phytol 109:351–359Google Scholar
  27. Western JH, Cavett JJ (1959) The choke disease of cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) caused by Epichloe typhina (Fr.) Tul. Trans Brit Mycol Soc 42:298–307Google Scholar
  28. White JF, Cole GT (1985) Endophyte-host associations in forage grasses. III. In vitro inhibition of fungi by Acremonium coneophialum. Mycologia 77:487–489Google Scholar
  29. Wilson CL (1977) Management of beneficial plant disease. In: Horsfall JG, Cowling EB (eds) Plant Disease: An Advanced Treatise, Vol 1. Academic Press, NY pp 347–362Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Clay
    • 1
  • Gregory P. Cheplick
    • 1
  • Susan Marks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations