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Transformation of Epichloë typhina by electroporation of conidia

James E Dombrowski1, James C Baldwin2, Steve C Alderman1 and Ruth C Martin1*

Author Affiliations

1 USDA-ARS National Forage Seed Production Research Center, 3450 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA

2 Applied Technology Center, 2484 Gillingham Drive, B-175W Brooks City-Base, TX 78235 USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:46  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-46

Published: 5 March 2011



Choke, caused by the endophytic fungus Epichloë typhina, is an important disease affecting orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) seed production in the Willamette Valley. Little is known concerning the conditions necessary for successful infection of orchardgrass by E. typhina. Detection of E. typhina in plants early in the disease cycle can be difficult due to the sparse distribution of hyphae in the plant. Therefore, a sensitive method to detect fungal infection in plants would provide an invaluable tool for elucidating the conditions for establishment of infection in orchardgrass. Utilization of a marker gene, such as the green fluorescent protein (GFP), transformed into Epichloë will facilitate characterization of the initial stages of infection and establishment of the fungus in plants.


We have developed a rapid, efficient, and reproducible transformation method using electroporation of germinating Epichloë conidia isolated from infected plants.


The GFP labelled E. typhina provides a valuable molecular tool to researchers studying conditions and mechanisms involved in the establishment of choke disease in orchardgrass.