Fungal Endophyte Infection in Italian Annual Ryegrass. L. R. Nelson, Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Overton 75684. J. C. Read, Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center, Dallas. Plant Dis. 74:183. Accepted for publication 1 November 1989. Copyright 1990 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-74-0183A.
An endophytic fungus infection of Italian annual ryegrass (Lolium
multiflorum Lam.) has been reported by Latch et al (2). No
reports of reduced forage quality of annual ryegrass in the United
States have been published. A rye grass breeding population developed
in East Texas was recently screened for endophyte. Of 100 plants
tested with the tissue-staining technique developed by C. W. Bacon
et al (1), 17 were identified as having an endophyte. The high rate
of infection indicates a need to test all ryegrass germ plasm for presence
of the endophyte. Presence of the endophyte at this or higher levels
indicates that forage quality of annual rye grass may be reduced. These
results indicate that presence of endophyte in Italian annual ryegrass
populations in breeding programs should be monitored before plant
selections are made.