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Data from: A first draft of the core fungal microbiome of Schedonorus arundinaceus with and without its fungal mutualist Epichloë coenophiala

Citation

Dale, Jenna; Newman, Jonathan (2022), Data from: A first draft of the core fungal microbiome of Schedonorus arundinaceus with and without its fungal mutualist Epichloë coenophiala, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fj6q573z8

Abstract

Tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinaceus) is a cool-season grass that is commonly infected with the fungal endophyte Epichloë coenophiala. Although the relationship between tall fescue and E. coenophiala is well-studied, less is known about its broader fungal communities. We used next-generation sequencing of the ITS2 region to describe the complete foliar fungal microbiomes in a set of field-grown tall fescue plants over two years, and whether these fungal communities were affected by the presence of Epichloë. We used the Georgia 5 cultivar of tall fescue, grown in the field for six years prior to sampling. Plants were either uninfected with E. coenophiala, or they were infected with one of two E. coenophiala strains: the common toxic strain or the AR542 strain (sold commercially as MaxQ). We observed 3,487 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) across all plants and identified 43 ASVs that may make up a potential core microbiome. Fungal communities did not differ strongly between Epichloë treatments but did show a great deal of variation between the two years. Plant fitness also changed over time but was not influenced by E. coenophiala infection.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Canada Foundation for Innovation