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 These are fungi that live within plant tissue, but don’t cause disease. We don’t really know what they are doing, but every part of every plant ever studied by anyone has these fungi inside. There are some “famous” examples-grasses used to feed cattle can contain endophytes that produce toxins that act as neurotoxins in cows. The fungi do this to protect the grass from being eaten. Also, taxol is a potent anti-cancer drug produced by the bark of the pacific yew tree AND by a fungal endophyte that lives in the bark of the same tree (why!?). However, we don’t study those cool examples. Most of our work has been on the fungal endophytes which live inside the mycorrhizae described above (this idea gives most people a headache). However, we have also recently worked with Nova Scotia vineyards, comparing the endophytes of cultivated grape leaves to those of wild grapes. This kind of ties in with the next bit...