New Neotyphodium endophyte species from the grass tribes Stipeae and Meliceae

Christina D. Moon, Jean Jacques Guillaumin, Catherine Ravel, Chunjie Li, Kelly D. Craven, Christopher L. Schardl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Several species of Achnatherum (grass tribe Stipeae) and Melica (tribe Meliceae) typically are infected by nonpathogenic, seed-transmissible fungi with characteristics of Neotyphodium species (anamorphic Clavicipitaceae). Molecular phylogenetic studies clearly have distinguished the endophytes from Achnatherum inebrians (from Xinjiang Province, China), A. robustum and A. eminens (both from North America) and indicate that the A. inebrians endophyte comprises a unique nonhybrid lineage within the Epichloë and Neotyphodium phylogeny, whereas the endophytes of A. robustum, and A. eminens are hybrids with multiple Epichloë species (holomorphic Clavicipitaceae) as ancestors. Likewise distinct hybrid origins are indicated for Neotyphodium species from the European Melica species, M. ciliata and M. transsilvanica, the South African species M. decumbens and M. racemosa, and the South American species M. stuckertii. Neotyphodium species have been described from A. inebrians from Gansu Province, China, (N. gansuense), A. eminens (N. chisosum), M. stuckertii (N. tembladerae) and the South African Melica species (N. melicicola). However the endophytes from A. robustum and the European Melica species have not been described and the phylogenetic relationships of N. gansuense have not been investigated. Here we report a comprehensive study of morphological features and phylogenetic analyses of β-tubulin and actin gene sequences on an expanded collection of endophytes from the Stipeae and Meliceae. These data provide a firm foundation for the description of two new Neotyphodium species, N. guerinii from M. ciliata and M. transsilvanica, and N. funkii from A. robustum. We also propose the new variety, N. gansuense var. inebrians for endophytes of A. inebrians from Xinjiang Province, which are morphologically and phylogenetically distinct from, yet clearly related to, N. gansuense from Gansu Province.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-905
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Achnatherum
  • Clavicipitaceae
  • Epichloë endophytes
  • Evolution
  • Grasses
  • Hybridization
  • Melica
  • Poaceae
  • Symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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