Endophytic fungal β-1,6-glucanase expression in the infected host grass

Melinda Moy, Huaijun Michael Li, Ray Sullivan, James F. White, Faith C. Belanger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Mutualistic fungal endophytes infect many grass species and often confer benefits to the hosts such as reduced herbivory by insects and animals. The physiological interactions between the endophytes and their hosts have not been well characterized. Fungal-secreted proteins are likely to be important components of the interaction. In the interaction between Poa ampla and the endophyte Neotyphodium sp., a fungal β-1,6-glucanase is secreted into the apoplast, and activity of the enzyme is detectable in endophyte-infected plants. Sequence analysis indicates the β-1,6-glucanase is homologous to enzymes secreted by the mycoparasitic fungi Trichoderma harzianum and Trichoderma virens. DNA gel-blot analysis indicated the β-1,6-glucanase was encoded by a single gene. As a secreted protein, the β-1,6-glucanase may have a nutritional role for the fungus. In culture, β-1,6-glucanase activity was induced in the presence of β-1,6-glucans. From RNA gel blots, similar β-1,6-glucanases were expressed in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra L. subsp. fallax [Thuill] Nyman) infected with the endophyte species Neotyphodium coenophialum and Epichloë festucae, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1308
Number of pages11
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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