Effects of fungal endophyte on the persistence and productivity of tall fescue at 3 sites in eastern Australia

Warwick M. Wheatley, David E. Hume, Harry W. Kemp, Matthew Monk, Kevin F. Lowe, Alison J. Popay, David D. Baird, Brian A. Tapper

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Three small plot trials were sown in autumn 2000 with three tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix syn. Festuca arundinacea) cultivars, each infected with a non-toxic fungal endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum) or endophyte-free. Over the first year, endophyte infection improved yields at Bega (South Coast, NSW) by an average of 113% compared with endophyte-free. The greatest differences occurred over summer/autumn and were associated with damage from African black beetle (Heteronychus arator) in endophyte-free plots. At Gatton (Southern Queensland) and Armidale (Northern Tablelands, NSW), endophyte infection increased annual yields 0 to 16%, with differences greatest in autumn (up to 20%). At these sites, insect populations did not appear to be at levels that would significantly affect grass productivity and persistence. Tall fescue hosting the non-toxic endophyte was free of ergovaline, the prime endophyte alkaloid associated with fescue toxicity in animals. These early results indicate potential agronomic advantages in using tall fescue infected with non-toxic endophyte.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSolutions for a better environment
Place of PublicationAustralia. CDROM
PublisherAustralian Society of Agronomy
ISBN (Electronic)0975031309
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event11th Australian Agronomy Conference - Geelong, Australia, Australia
Duration: 02 Feb 200306 Feb 2003


Conference11th Australian Agronomy Conference


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