Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was used to determine the impact of endophyte (Neotyphodium sp.) infection on elemental composition of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Leaf material from endophyte-infected () and endophyte-free () tall fescue populations in established plots was examined. Leaf-tissue digestates were also tested for metals, by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry (MS). Seven of eleven metals (Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Ni, and Zn) were measured by both techniques at concentrations great enough for a reliable comparison. Mg, Zn, and Cd, a toxic metal that can be present in forage, were readily detected by LIBS, even though Cd concentrations in the plants were below levels typically achieved using ICP MS detection. Implications of these results for research on forage analysis and phytoremediation are discussed.
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