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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.

References: (1) C. W. Bacon et al. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 34:576, 1977. (2) G. C. M. Latch et al. Ann. Appl. BioI. 111:59, 1987.