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Control of fungal pathogens of Triticum aestivum using endophytic fungi and non-conventional fungicides

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Title: Control of fungal pathogens of Triticum aestivum using endophytic fungi and non-conventional fungicides
Author: Abaya, Abdurraouf
Department: School of Environmental Sciences
Program: Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Hsiang, Tom
Abstract: Wheat diseases result in major losses worldwide. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effects of endophytic fungi or non-conventional fungicides on suppressing wheat pathogens. Endophytic fungal isolates recovered from wheat were found to be antagonistic to the fungal pathogens Fusarium graminearum, Microdochium majus, or Waitea circinata in dual culture experiments. A hyphal plug sandwich of three selected antagonistic endophytic fungi inhibited the severity of diseases caused by Fusarium graminearum (36-80%) and Waitea circinata (31-80%) on wheat plants in growth room tests. Agar inoculum of Simplicillium lamellicola or Clonostachys rosea was applied to an upper or lower leaf four days before agar inoculum of F. graminearum, resulted in systemically induced disease resistance in the pathogen-inoculated leaf, and reduced lesion lengths by 68-70% in growth room tests and 43-49% in outdoor garden tests. S. lamellicola or C. rosea added to soil before seeding or seeds soaked in biocontrol increased the growth of Triticum aestivum at the seedling stage compared with untreated control by up to 22%. Spore suspensions of S. lamellicola or C. rosea significantly reduced Fusarium head blight (FHB) in the growth room tests (58-66%), outdoor garden tests (67-74%), and field tests (71-76%). Treatments with 1% humic acid, 1% phosphite, 30 mM para-aminobenzoic acid, 10 mM salicylic acid, or 2% Civitas + 0.2% Harmonizer on five-week-old plants significantly reduced foliar disease in growth room tests by 67-96%. For adult stage tests, these non-conventional fungicide treatments were sprayed three hours before the spore suspension of F. graminearum was applied to wheat spikes in the growth room, and these compounds significantly reduced FHB by 27-92% on the moderately resistant cultivar ‘Glenn’ and by 40-72% on the susceptible cultivar ‘Wilkin’. For outdoor garden tests, non-conventional fungicides were sprayed three days before inoculating the spike with the F. graminearum and significantly reduced FHB by 54-95%. In field trials, 1% humic acid significantly reduced FHB index % on three wheat cultivars, ‘Wilkin’, ‘Glenn’, and ‘AAC Scotia’ by 54%, 69%, and 80%, respectively. S. lamellicola and non-conventional fungicide treatments are promising for control of diseases caused by F. graminearum and other wheat pathogens.
Date: 2020-04
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