REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0310.v1
Online: 17 September 2021 (12:08:15 CEST)
Cool-season grasses are the most common forage types in livestock operations and amenities. Several of the cool-season grasses establish mutualistic associations with an endophytic fungus of the Epichloe genus. The grasses and endophytic fungi have evolved over a long period of time to form host-fungus specific relationships that confer protection for the grass against various stressors in exchange for housing and nutrients to the fungus. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms by which Epichloe endophytes and grasses interact, including molecular pathways for secondary metabolite production. It also outlines specific mechanisms by which the endophyte helps protect the plant from various abiotic and biotic stressors. Finally, the review provides information on how Epichloe infection of grass and stress affect the rhizosphere environment of the plant.