Particular alkaloids produced by Neotyphodium endophytes show toxicity to invertebrates. Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lamarck) cultivars and strains that are symbiotic with Neotyphodium endophytes have been recently established in Japan. N. uncinatum-infected Italian ryegrass lines accumulate N-formylloline, a type of loline alkaloid (1-aminopyrrolizidine) showing neurotoxicity to herbivorous insects. This study investigated the toxicity of N-formylloline and resistance of N. uncinatum-infected Italian ryegrass to vascular-sap feeding Clypeorrhynchan pests. When four vascular-sap feeding insects: Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén) (Homoptera: Delphacidae), Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) (Homoptera: Delphacidae), Cicadulina bipunctata (Melichar) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), and Nephotettix cincticeps (Uhler) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) fed on N. uncinatum-infected Italian ryegrass, significant decreases in survival rate were observed for three phloem-sap feeders but not for a xylem-sap feeder, N. cincticeps. This result suggests an uneven distribution of N-formylloline among plant tissues. A potency assay for N-formylloline using a Parafilm feeding sachet and a quantitative analysis of N-formylloline in plant showed a concentration-dependent lethal effect of N-formylloline on all four tested vascular-sap feeders. Our results strongly suggest that N. uncinatum-infected plants can control some Clypeorrhynchan pests in crop fields.
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