Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), the most important pasture grass in Arkansas, exhibits different agricultural properties when it is infected by its mutualistic endophyte Acremonium coenophialum Morgan-Jones and Gams. We postulate that the presence of endophyte exerts a stress on the host that enhances or detracts from the host's ability to express specific genes. We tested this hypothesis by heat stressing infected and non-infected, juvenile and mature tall fescue, and examining their protein profiles by SDS-PAGE analysis. The results indicate that mature, infected, stressed grass produced greater amounts of Rubisco (ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase) than all other treatments. Additionally, the mature, infected, stressed grass exhibited a 20 k Dalton protein band which was not apparent in other treatments. These observations support the possibility that the endophyte prestresses the grass, and they suggest a molecular mechanism for this response.
Long, R. L.G.; Adams, Lance T.; Corely, J. D.; Karlin, Alvan A.; Parsons, B. L.; Kleve, Maurice G.; and Henle, J.
"Stress Induced Protein Changes in Tall Fescue,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 47
, Article 18.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol47/iss1/18