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Yanfei Zhou

Doctor of Philosophy, (Microbiology and genetics)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Neotyphodium lolii endophyte improves drought tolerance in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. L) through broadly adjusting its metabolism

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Endophyte fungi that live naturally in association with grass plants help the grass to resist a wide range of stresses such as drought and insect damage. Mr Yanfei Zhou studied the mechanism of increased drought tolerance. He developed a method that can determine levels of the endophyte Neotyphodium lolii in perennial grass accurately, and investigated the genome wide expression of both fungal endophyte andgrass genes under drought stress. Results indicated that the fungal endophyte improves drought tolerance in perennial ryegrass through adjusting specific metabolic pathways in the plant. This work highlights the importance of fungal endophytes in resistance of grass to drought and provides a comprehensive insight into mechanisms by which endophytes improve grass drought tolerance. It also provides several gene sets that potentially could be developed as markers to be used in screening drought tolerance of grass/endophyte combinations in the field.

Professor Rosie Bradshaw
Dr Richard Johnson
Dr Jan Schmid