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Article

Alkaloid Concentrations of Lolium perenne Infected with Epichloë festucae var. lolii with Different Detection Methods—A Re-Evaluation of Intoxication Risk in Germany?

1
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
2
Biodiversity Unit, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
3
Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Metabolomics Core Unit, University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2020, 6(3), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030177
Received: 19 August 2020 / Revised: 9 September 2020 / Accepted: 15 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Endophytes in Agriculture and Ecosystems)
Mycotoxins in agriculturally used plants can cause intoxication in animals and can lead to severe financial losses for farmers. The endophytic fungus Epichloë festucae var. lolii living symbiotically within the cool season grass species Lolium perenne can produce vertebrate and invertebrate toxic alkaloids. Hence, an exact quantitation of alkaloid concentrations is essential to determine intoxication risk for animals. Many studies use different methods to detect alkaloid concentrations, which complicates the comparability. In this study, we showed that alkaloid concentrations of individual plants exceeded toxicity thresholds on real world grasslands in Germany, but not on the population level. Alkaloid concentrations on five German grasslands with high alkaloid levels peaked in summer but were also below toxicity thresholds on population level. Furthermore, we showed that alkaloid concentrations follow the same seasonal trend, regardless of whether plant fresh or dry weight was used, in the field and in a common garden study. However, alkaloid concentrations were around three times higher when detected with dry weight. Finally, we showed that alkaloid concentrations can additionally be biased to different alkaloid detection methods. We highlight that toxicity risks should be analyzed using plant dry weight, but concentration trends of fresh weight are reliable. View Full-Text
Keywords: Epichloë; Lolium perenne; toxicity; grasslands; HPLC/UPLC methods; endophyte; plant fresh/dry weight; alkaloid detection methods; mycotoxins; phenology Epichloë; Lolium perenne; toxicity; grasslands; HPLC/UPLC methods; endophyte; plant fresh/dry weight; alkaloid detection methods; mycotoxins; phenology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vikuk, V.; Fuchs, B.; Krischke, M.; Mueller, M.J.; Rueb, S.; Krauss, J. Alkaloid Concentrations of Lolium perenne Infected with Epichloë festucae var. lolii with Different Detection Methods—A Re-Evaluation of Intoxication Risk in Germany? J. Fungi 2020, 6, 177. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030177

AMA Style

Vikuk V, Fuchs B, Krischke M, Mueller MJ, Rueb S, Krauss J. Alkaloid Concentrations of Lolium perenne Infected with Epichloë festucae var. lolii with Different Detection Methods—A Re-Evaluation of Intoxication Risk in Germany? Journal of Fungi. 2020; 6(3):177. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030177

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vikuk, Veronika, Benjamin Fuchs, Markus Krischke, Martin J. Mueller, Selina Rueb, and Jochen Krauss. 2020. "Alkaloid Concentrations of Lolium perenne Infected with Epichloë festucae var. lolii with Different Detection Methods—A Re-Evaluation of Intoxication Risk in Germany?" Journal of Fungi 6, no. 3: 177. https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6030177

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