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Effects of "endophyte-enhanced" grass on humans?

 
                              
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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
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Location: Oakland, CA
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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.
 
paul wheaton
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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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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
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Location: Alaska
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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.
 
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