Species diversity of Epichloë symbiotic with two grasses from southern Argentinean Patagonia

Patricia D. McCargo, Leopoldo J. Iannone, María Victoria Vignale, Christopher L. Schardl, María Susana Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In this work we performed morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses (based on sequences of calmodulin M [calM], translationelongation factor 1-α [tefA] and b-tubulin [tubB] genes) to characterize the diversity of Epichloë endophytes in Bromus setifolius and Phleum alpinum. The phylogenies obtained from the three genes were congruent and allowed differentiation of three lineages of endophytes that also presented morphological differences. One lineage corresponds to the previously described species Epichloë tembladerae, which is present in a wide range of native grasses from Argentina including B. setifolius and P. alpinum. Another genotype isolated only from B. setifolius is a non-hybrid endophyte, a rare condition for the South American Epichloë endophytes. Isolates of this genotype, described herein as a new variety, Epichloë typhina var. aonikenkana, presented waxy colonies at maturity and a low production of conidia. The third lineage, exclusively found in isolates from P. alpinum, is a hybrid between E. typhina and a common ancestor of E. amarillans and E. baconii. Isolates of this lineage produce abundant conidia that are variable in shape and size. Based on its unique phylogenetic position and morphology, we propose the new species, Epichloë cabralii for this lineage. The new combinations Epichloë tembladerae and E. pampeana also are proposed for the previously described Neotyphodium tembladerae and Neotyphodium pampeanum species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Bromus setifolius
  • Endophyte diversity
  • Epichloë
  • Neotyphodium
  • Phleum alpinum
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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