Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (8): 860-869.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0132

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of endophyte infection on fungal disease resistance of Achnatherum sibiricum and non-symbiotic neighbours

SHI Xin-Jian, ZHANG Jing-Xin, QIN Tian-Zi, LIU Jin-Ming, GAO Yu-Bao, REN An-Zhi*()   

  1. College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • Received:2021-04-08 Revised:2021-06-29 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-11-18
  • Contact: REN An-Zhi
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(31971425)


Aims Epichloë infection can affect the fungal disease resistance of host grasses. However, few studies have been reported on the effects of endophyte infection on non-symbiotic neighbours.
Methods We surveyed the plant diseases in natural grassland, and compared differences of total disease index between neighbor and non-neighbor plants of Achnatherum sibiricum. Then the laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of endophyte on the growth of four pathogen species as well as the brown patch of the host and its neighbor plants.
Important findings Major epidemic diseases of grasses were spot blight, rust disease and powdery mildew in Hulun Buir natural grassland. Among common herbages, the total disease index of endophyte-infected A. sibiricum was the lowest. Compared with non-neighbor plants, the brown patch disease index of Leymus chinensis, Stipa baicalensis and Agropyron cristatum was significantly reduced when neighbouring with A. sibiricum. The laboratory experiments results showed that the culture filtration of both Epichloë gansuensis and Epichloë sibiricum significantly restrained the growth of Curvularia lunata, Bipolaris sorokiniana, Sclerotinia sclerotioru and Sclerotinia trifoliorum. The two species of endophytes could reduce lesion area of detached host leaves. In the intact leaves, the endophyte reduced the disease resistance of both the host and its neighbor grasses L. chinensis to C. lunata and B. sorokiniana. This study first verified that the endophytes in A. sibiricum have a positive effect on disease resistance of neighbor grasses to brown patch.

Key words: endophyte, Achnatherum sibiricum, neighbor grasses, fungal pathogens, brown patch