Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented at 2011 Bird Strike North America Conference, September 12-15, 2011, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.


Copyright 2011 Pennell


1. What are fungal endophytes?

Endophyte infected plants are symptomless

Fungal endophyte + Grass Plant

The green dots are the endophyte filaments

Endophyte life cycle

Diversity in endophytes

•Neotyphodium fungal endophytes are NOT all the same, there is considerable diversity in their biochemical profiles.
•Our selections have been made from wild-types world wide
•AgResearch has the largest collection of grass endophytes in the world
•New Zealand is the recognized world leader in grass endophyte technology and its commercialisation

Basic science

•Understanding the life cycle of Neotyphodium endophytes (1980)
•Isolation from grasses and growth ex plant (1990)
•Inoculations challenges – into the plant (1995)
•Understanding the chemistry – discovering unknown alkaloids (1996-on going) •Transmission challenges – into the seed (1996 to date)
•Understanding genes controlling alkaloid expression
•Endophyte viability in seed

The Development of AVANEX Unique Endophyte Technology

•Examine global collections of endophytes
•Inoculated turf type cultivars
•Improve alkaloid expression from the ordinary wild type
•Further crossing and stability testing (in plant and seed)
•Compare alkaloid expression with original wildtype
•Bulk up seed (3 years)
•Test in field (birds-insects-airports)
•Patented in USA/NZ/AU

Crossing these to get seed of AVANEXTM

•Selection of 2 pair crosses for increasing loline

Increase ergovaline

•Grow out seeds to Chemo type and confirm endophyte presence

•Test for alkaloids