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Effects of "endophyte-enhanced" grass on humans?

                              


Joined: Mar 15, 2010
Posts: 1
Hello,

I'm thinking about using tall fescue endophyte enhanced grass seed in my lawn. I understand that the consummation of the grass in large quantities could be harmful, but I was wondering if there was anything that the fungi released which could potentially contaminate water supplies (I get water from a well). I've taken a look through the forums (and through the rest of the internet) to see if there is any conclusive evidence in regards to this question, but I have found no mention of it. I was wondering if any of you guys or gals had any experience/thoughts on this.

Thanks!
Tamir
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
My understanding is that, by absorbing passing nitrates and such, most varieties of fungus greatly improve the quality of groundwater beneath them.

Fungi tend to poison their competitors or predators, if anyone. I think the endophytes you're considering live deep enough that vertebrates like us are not enough of a problem to select for chemical defenses.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15425
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
While the endophytes do present some problems to ruminants, there are some varieties of tall fescue that have been bred that have no endophytes.  And there is at least one variety that has been bred that has ruminant friendly endophytes.


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Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
tamirtoad wrote:
Hello,

I'm thinking about using tall fescue endophyte enhanced grass seed in my lawn. I understand that the consummation of the grass in large quantities could be harmful, but I was wondering if there was anything that the fungi released which could potentially contaminate water supplies (I get water from a well). I've taken a look through the forums (and through the rest of the internet) to see if there is any conclusive evidence in regards to this question, but I have found no mention of it. I was wondering if any of you guys or gals had any experience/thoughts on this.

Thanks!
Tamir

I also think so. Thank you for the post.
Emerson White


Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
The endophytes are heavily invested in not being eaten, so they have evolved a number of toxins to prevent that from happening. However they have no investment in killing what drinks the water, so it's unlikely that any of them would chance on a toxin that leeched through the soil unscathed.
 
 
subject: Effects of "endophyte-enhanced" grass on humans?
 
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