Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (1): 72-80.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0008

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of endophyte transmission on ecophysiological characteristics of Achnatherum sibiricum

JIA Tong, REN An-Zhi, WEI Mao-Ying, YIN Li-Jia, GAO Yu-Bao*()   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • Received:2014-06-09 Accepted:2014-11-02 Online:2015-01-10 Published:2015-01-22
  • Contact: Yu-Bao GAO
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Abstract: <i>Aims</i>

Achnatherum sibiricum plants were infected by fungal endophytes Neotyphodium and Epichloëand high infection rates have been found in our experimental field. Our objective was to determine the effects of Neotyphodium and Epichloë on growth and physiological characteristics in A. sibiricum.


In a field experiment, we measured plant growth and physiological characteristics of A. sibiricum with a LI-6400 portable photosynthesis system and determined the contents of carbon (C%) and nitrogen (N%) and other physiological variables in 2011 and 2012. Achnatherum sibiricum plants were successfully infected with Neotyphodium and Epichloë.

<i>Important findings</i>

Neotyphodium infection had a significant positive effect on both leaf length and plant height in A. sibiricum, whereas Epichloë infection had a significant negative effect on the two variables. Maximum net photosynthetic rate was significantly higher in the endophyte-free plants than in plants infected by Neotyphodium and Epichloë; whilst Neotyphodium infected plants had significantly higher maximum net photosynthetic rate than Epichloë infected plants. Moreover, Neotyphodium infection significantly increased stomatal limitation and water use efficiency (WUE) of the host grass. Epichloë infection had a negative effect on photosynthetic variables except intercellular CO2 concentration in the first year. Neotyphodium infection resulted in greater accumulation of soluble sugars in host plants than Epichloë infection and endophyte-free treatment. The N% in Epichloë infected plant was significantly higher than in Neotyphodium infected plants in both years and in endophyte-free plants in the second year.

Key words: Neotyphodium, Epichloë, Achnatherum sibiricum