N&H TOP LINE: Fescue, endophyte cooperation varies

Tall fescue has fungal partner that helps it grow better, but some fungal types are toxic to livestock. ALSO: Enzyme aids plant photosynthesis.

Tall fescue, a grass important to the southeastern U.S., has a fungal partner that is known to help it grow better and tolerate a harsh climate.

However, there is a catch: Some of these fungal endophytes produce chemical compounds that can be toxic to livestock. Many studies have explored the relationship between the grass and the fungus, but a recent paper in Crop Science is among the first to investigate the future of the association with regard to climate change.

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