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Dynamics of Neotyphodium uncinatum and N-formylloline in Italian ryegrass, and their relation to insect resistance in the field

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Abstract

Aims

A fungal endophyte, Neotyphodium uncinatum, accumulates N-formylloline, which is toxic to Hemipteran insects, in Italian ryegrass. This study aimed to clarify the dynamics of N. uncinatum and N-formylloline in Italian ryegrass, and their relationship to insect resistance.

Methods and Results

Changes in the density and localization of N. uncinatum and N-formylloline in N. uncinatum-infected Italian ryegrass were examined by real-time PCR and gas chromatography, respectively. Neotyphodium uncinatum multiplied on pseudostems at the flowering stage, and then increased on inflorescences at the ripening stage. On the other hand, N-formylloline accumulated heavily in inflorescences and leaf blades, but lightly in pseudostems at the ripening stage. In field experiments, N. uncinatum-infected Italian ryegrass suppressed the occurrence of Stenotus rubrovittatus, which fed on the inflorescences, but was not effective to Laodelphax striatellus, which do not necessarily prefer a particular plant tissue.

Conclusion

Localization of N. uncinatum and N-formylloline were discordant in Italian ryegrass. The N. uncinatum-infected Italian ryegrass was effective to only insects that prefer to feed on particular plant tissues containing N-formylloline.

Significance and Impact of Study

Our data implies that the relationship between insect habits and the dynamics of alkaloids in plants is important for the effective use of endophyte-infected crops.

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