Fungal endophyte-grass symbioses are rare in the California floristic province and other regions with Mediterranean-influenced climates

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6 Scopus citations


Research on agronomic grasses has shown that Class 1 fungal endophytes (. Neotyphodium/Epichloë; Clavicipitaceae) can have profound effects on host plant fitness. However, in natural systems, even basic ecological knowledge of most endophyte symbioses is lacking. Here, I describe the distribution and abundance of endophytes across 36 native (or naturalized) grasses in a previously unsurveyed region, the California Floristic Province. Symbiosis was generally low: 8.33. % of species and 18.75. % of genera hosted endophytes. I then compared the proportions of symbiotic species and genera found in California and other Mediterranean regions to the proportions found in non-Mediterranean regions. Surveys of Mediterranean-influenced regions showed significantly lower proportions of species (~66. % lower) and genera (~65. % lower) hosting endophyte than surveys of non-Mediterranean regions. This pattern suggests that selection in Mediterranean climates may not favor endophyte symbioses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-352
Number of pages8
JournalFungal Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012



  • California
  • Climate
  • Drought
  • Epichloë
  • Fungal endophyte
  • Mediterranean
  • Mutualism
  • Neotyphodium
  • Poaceae
  • Symbiosis
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Plant Science

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