Alkaloids of Turf-Type Fine Fescue (Festuca Sp.)
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Endophytes of the tribe Balansieae form a symbiotic relationship with many coolseason grasses, including several Festuca sp. (Bacon and De Battista, 1990). These fungus-grass associations have been the focus of much attention since their identification in pasture cultivars of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass as the causal agent of animal toxicoses (Stuedemann and Hoveland, 1988). The fine leaf fescues include Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra var. commutata), creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra spp. rubra), hard fescue (Festuca ovine spp. duriuscula) and blue fescue (Festuca ovine spp. ovine). Because of the limited utilization of the fine fescues as pasture grasses, the fungal endophytes of these species have not been studied to the extent of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. However, these grasses are widely used for amenity purposes and are considered excellent low-maintenance grasses (Juska et al., 1955). The following study is part of a long-term project examining these grasses and their natural endophytes. The principal focus of this research was to assess the distribution and content of ergopeptine alkaloids and peramine in several endophyte-infected grasses. Tall fescue was used as a positive control species for ergot alkaloid analysis.
KeywordsTall Fescue Perennial Ryegrass Fungal Endophyte Kentucky Bluegrass Endophyte Infected Tall Fescue
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