Enhancing native grass productivity by cocultivating with endophyte-laden calli

TitleEnhancing native grass productivity by cocultivating with endophyte-laden calli
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLucero M.E., Barrow J.R., Osuna P., Reyes-Vera I.
JournalRangeland Ecology and Management
Date PublishedJanuary 2008
ARIS Log Number202801
KeywordsAtriplex canescens, Bouteloua eriopoda, endophytes, native grasses, non-mycorrhizal, Sporobolus airoides, Sporobolus cryptandrus
AbstractThe influence native endophytes have on grass establishment and productivity was evaluated by co-cultivating Bouteloua eriopoda (Torr.) Torr. (black grama) or Sporobolus cryptandrus (Torr.) Gray (sand dropseed) seedlings with endophyte-laden calli from three of four native grass and shrub species; Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. (fourwing saltbush), S. cryptandrus, S. airoides (Torr.) Torr. (alkali sacaton), and B. eriopoda in-vitro. Following co-cultivation, grass seedlings were hardened and transferred to 3 replicate field plots each containing 16 grass plants of a single species which had been co-cultivated with a single callus species. Plant establishment rates, heights, crown diameters, above ground biomass, seed yields, and seed quality were compared. In B. eriopoda (black grama), significant increases in plant biomass were not observed. However, early plant heights and crown diameters, establishment rates, and stolon production were higher in some callus treatments. In S. cryptandrus (sand dropseed), all variables were positively influenced by one or more of the endophyte treatments. Biomass increases ranged from 2.5 to 3-fold over untreated plants, and harvested seed increased 5.9-fold in plants treated with endophytes from A. canescens (fourwing saltbush). Seed quality, determined by purity, germination rates, and tetrazolium assays, and did not differ across endophyte treatments for either grass. There is evidence that endophyte transfer is responsible for the altered vigor of treated plants, but this conclusion requires further study.