The plant is an extraordinarily common and widespread source of organic energy. It is thus likely that a huge array of fungi interact with plants. A diverse suite of fungi can be isolated from apparently healthy tissue, and many have never been associated with disease. Others may cause disease when environmental conditions change. Yet others appear to be associated with initial degradation of the leaf following senescence.
One specific group of endophytic fungi have a close association with grasses. These fungi are transmitted vertically (through seed) and their impact on the economic value of the host has led to the study of their biology. The grass endophytes, and related fungi, are considered separately from the more common general endophytes.
This section of the course is broken into the following topics:
Endophytes in General
Endobiotics & Epibiotics (Clavicipitales)
Grass Endophytes (Neotyphodium)