The contribution of ground-level inoculum of Fusarium culmorum to ear blight of winter wheat

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Bateman, G. L. 2005. The contribution of ground-level inoculum of Fusarium culmorum to ear blight of winter wheat. Plant Pathology. 54 (3), pp. 299-307.

AuthorsBateman, G. L.

In a series of field experiments in eastern England over 5 years, severe ear blight developed only in plots of winter wheat that were inoculated by spraying with conidial suspensions of Fusarium culmorum during anthesis, and in which infection was encouraged by rainfall or mist irrigation. In the absence of artificial inoculation of the ears, F. culmorum caused less extensive ear blight, and only where soil-surface inoculum was available after its application on infested plant material (colonized oat grains) up to 3-4 weeks before anthesis; it then developed most where significant rainfall occurred close to the time of anthesis. A warm, dry period following application of inoculum to the ground in late March contributed to increased infection of grain by F. culmorum, although ear blight was not increased. Ear infection therefore depended on adequate viable inoculum on infested plant debris within the crop, and conditions tending to favour brown foot rot development as well as, subsequently, rainfall and moist conditions during anthesis. These conditions did not occur together naturally during this period. Seedling infection by F. culmorum or Microdochium nivale made no significant contribution to ear blight. Inoculation of ears at anthesis with M. nivale or a locally obtained isolate of F. langsethiae did not produce ear blight symptoms. Possibilities for minimizing the availability of inoculum of F. culmorum and the implications for various options for ear-blight control are discussed.

KeywordsAgronomy; Plant Sciences
Year of Publication2005
JournalPlant Pathology
Journal citation54 (3), pp. 299-307
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code505
Epidemiology of ear blight and biology of toxigenic Fusarium species and related pathogenic fungi in cereal crops

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