How symbionts are transmitted between hosts is key to determining whether symbioses evolve to be harmful or beneficial. Vertical transmission favors mutualistic symbionts, and horizontal transmission more virulent ones. Transmission mode evolution itself depends on whether the host or symbiont can respond to selection on transmission mode. When hosts control the transmission mode, vertical transmission should evolve under more restrictive circumstances than when symbionts are in control. We take a phylogenetic approach to determine whether the host, symbiont, or both control transmission mode using the pooid grass-epichloid endophyte symbiosis as a model system. This study is the first to investigate control of transmission mode evolution in a phylogenetic context. We find a signal of host phylogeny but only in conjunction with symbiont identity. This pattern suggests joint control of transmission mode by the host and symbiont. It also suggests that non-genetic or non-conserved symbiont traits may determine whether host traits lead to vertical or horizontal transmission.