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1 April 2015 Epichloë uncinata Infection and Loline Content Protect Festulolium Grasses From Crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae)
Gary M. Barker, Brian J. Patchett, Nicholas E. Cameron
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Experiments with artificial diets demonstrated that black field cricket (Teleogryllus commodus (Walker)) and Lepidogryllus sp. were highly responsive to presence of lolines in their diet—quantities of diet consumed declined exponentially with increasing loline concentration. Amount consumed by black field cricket and Lepidogryllus sp. on diet containing 5,600 µg/g lolines was only 8 and 2% relative to those on loline-free diet, respectively. Additional experiments with Festulolium seeds demonstrated that both cricket species predated heavily on endophyte-free seed but largely avoided Epichloë uncinata-infected seed. By 12 h, black field cricket had destroyed 98.8% of endophyte-free but only 24.8% of E. uncinata-infected, loline-containing seed. By 36 h, Lepidogryllus sp. crickets had destroyed 40% of endophyte-free but had not fed on E. uncinata-infected, loline-containing seed. Glasshouse experiments demonstrated this aversion to lolines greatly reduces the damage potential of black field cricket in E. uncinata-infected Festulolium. When microswards were sown with E. uncinata-infected Festulolium, seedling numbers were reduced 25–26%, and yields 29–40%, by black field crickets relative to microswards sown without insect infestation. This contrasts with 70–78% reduction in seedling numbers and 67–80% reduction in yields in microswards sown to either endophyte-free Festulolium, endophyte-free perennial ryegrass, or Epichloë festucae var. lolii-infected Festulolium. Yields of mature E. uncinata-infected Festulolium plants were not adversely affected by black field crickets, irrespective of the presence of the endophyte-free standard Festulolium sown as a companion. In contrast, yields of endophyte-free Festulolium, endophyte-free perennial ryegrass, and E. festucae var. lolii-infected Festulolium plants were reduced by 56–61% by crickets.

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Gary M. Barker, Brian J. Patchett, and Nicholas E. Cameron "Epichloë uncinata Infection and Loline Content Protect Festulolium Grasses From Crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae)," Journal of Economic Entomology 108(2), 789-797, (1 April 2015).
Received: 16 June 2014; Accepted: 1 December 2014; Published: 1 April 2015

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fungal endophyte
meadow fescue
pest resistance
plant protection
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