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A root aphid Aploneura lentisci is affected by Epichloë endophyte strain and impacts perennial ryegrass growth in the field

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 18:06 authored by Alison PopayAlison Popay, David HumeDavid Hume, Wade MaceWade Mace, Marty FavilleMarty Faville, Sarah FinchSarah Finch, Vanessa Cave
The aphid Aploneura lentisci is widespread in Australia and New Zealand, living all year round on roots of its secondary grass hosts. The fungal endophyte (Epichloë festucae var. lolii), strain AR37 in Lolium perenne is known to greatly reduce populations and was a likely reason for the superior growth and persistence of this association previously observed in the field. Aphid populations were quantified in a field trial near Ballarat, comparing yields of perennial ryegrass infected with eight different endophyte strains and an endophyte-free (Nil) control in a common ryegrass background (Grasslands Samson (G. Samson)). AR37 and another endophyte strain, AR5, had significantly fewer aphids than all other endophytes. These differences were significantly related to yield increases taken before and after sampling that persisted until the end of the trial. In a pot trial comparing commercially available ryegrass-endophyte combinations with equivalent Nil controls, aphid numbers were lower on G. Samson AR37 and Banquet II with AR5 (Endo®5) than on all other cultivar-endophyte combinations. Compared with Nil controls, the common toxic strain in G. Samson, and two strains in Trojan also reduced aphid numbers. The AR5 endophyte produces the alkaloid ergovaline but high concentrations of this in roots of potted plants could not account for differences in root aphid numbers. Root concentrations of epoxyjanthitrems, the only known alkaloids produced by AR37, were low and unlikely to be the cause of resistance to A. lentisci.


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© CSIRO 2021


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No



Journal title

Crop and Pasture Science




Popay, A. J., Hume, D. E., Mace, W. J., Faville, M. J., Finch, S. C., & Cave, V. (2021). A root aphid Aploneura lentisci is affected by Epichloë endophyte strain and impacts perennial ryegrass growth in the field. Crop and Pasture Science, 72, 155–164. doi:10.1071/CP20299

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