What is an Endophyte?

An endophyte is a fungus found naturally in many grass speicies, including ryegrass. It provides the plant with protection from insects, and in return the plant provides the endophyte a place to live and reproduce.

The Neotyphodium endophytes infecting these grasses are not known to be transferred with pollen or by physical contact (Siegel et al., 1984).

David E. Hume and David J. Barker 2005 GROWTH AND MANAGEMENT OF ENDOPHYTIC GRASSES IN PASTORAL AGRICULTURE. In Neotyphodium in cool-season grasses. Eds. CA Roberts, CP West, DE Spiers 201-226 Iowa, IA: Blackwell Publishing

Perennial, and long rotation ryegrass and continental tall fescue

These ratings are indicative and may vary slightly between cultivars. If Argentine Stem Weevil or Black Beetle are present at sowing, an appropriate seed treatment is recommended to improve insect control during establishment. The ratings in these tables are based in part on glasshouse studies where test plants are 100% infected with endophyte, whereas commercial seed must meet minimum standards of 70% of seeds infected.

The tables were compiled in New Zealand and approved by the NZPBRA. (Correct as at December 2020).

Key to Tables 1-4

- No Control   
Low Level Control Endophyte may provide a measurable effect but is unlikely to give any practical control.
•• Moderate Control Endophyte may provide some practical protection, with a low to moderate reduction in insect population.
••• Good Control Endophyte markedly reduces insect damage under low to moderate insect pressures. Damage may still occur when insect pressure is high.
•••• Very Good Control Endophyte consistently reduces insect populations and keeps pasture damage to low levels, even under high insect pressure.
( ) Provisional Result Further results are needed to support the rating. Testing is ongoing.


Diploid Perennial Ryegrasses - Table 1


Tetraploid Perennial Ryegrasses - Table 2


Italian and Short Term (Hybrid) Ryegrass - Table 3


Continental Tall Fescue - Table 4

Animal Safety - Table 5

Key to Table 5

Likely to cause staggers in most years
•• Can cause severe staggers in some years
••• Can cause severe staggers occasionally
•••• Very unlikely to cause staggers

Share this page