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Incidence and Distribution of the Tall Fescue Endophyte in the United States. R. A. Shelby, Fescue Diagnostic Center, Department of Plant Pathology, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Auburn University, Auburn 36849. L. W. Dalrymple, Fescue Diagnostic Center, Department of Plant Pathology, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Auburn University, Auburn 36849. Plant Dis. 71:783-786. Accepted for publication 23 January 1987. Copyright 1987 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-71-0783.

Levels of the endophytic fungus (Acremonium coenophialum) were determined in samples of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacaea) plants and seed over a 3-yr period. The mean infection of plant samples from 26 states was 58%; however, seed samples were less infected (54%), particularly when live endophyte was assayed (6%). The cultivar KY-31 was most heavily infected, although endophyte-free seed of this and other cultivars were common. Livestock owners reporting symptoms of fescue toxicity also reported higher levels of infection than owners not observing symptoms.

Keyword(s): agalactia, EpichloŽ typhina, fescue foot, summer syndrome.