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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGING FHB THROUGH INTEGRATED PRACTICES, BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS, AND WITHIN-FIELD INOCULUM SOURCES Project Number: 0500-00053-003-13
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: May 27, 2009
End Date: May 26, 2014

Objective:
Project Title 1 - Uniform Biocontrol Agent Test for Control of Fusarium Head Blight and Deoxynivalenol: The proposal for the 2008-2009 season is to continue participation in the Uniform Biological Control Agent Trial. Two winter wheat varieties of varying susceptibility to FHB were planted during the fall of 2008 so that applications of biologicals can be made during the 2009 growing season. Project Title 2 - Integrated Management of Fusarium Head Blight and Deoxynivalenol across Multiple Locations and Small Grain Classes: As a result of a workshop sponsored by the Chemical, Biological and Cultural Control Research Area in 2006, a protocol for a multi-state project focusing on integrated management strategies for FHB was developed. The research portion of this project would involve multi-state trials evaluating crop sequence, variety selection and fungicide application as an integrated management program for FHB. Timely dissemination of the research results is also a priority of this project. Project Title 3 - Within-Field Inoculum from Corn Debris and the Management of FHB/DON: Our experimental objective is to quantify the relative contribution of within-field corn debris as an inoculum source of Gibberella zeae for Fusarium head blight and DON contamination in 20 variable wheat or barley environments over two years, all in regions where corn is the predominant crop in the agricultural landscape and corn debris is left on the land surface over large areas. Specifically we will (1) elucidate the contribution of local inoculum sources to the temporal and spatial development of FHB epidemics, and this knowledge will, in turn, (2) help refine models for FHB risk assessment.

Approach:
Project Title 1: The Uniform Biological Trial evalutes biological control agents that are close to market use against registered products with the objective of finding more effective products to use in managing FHB and thus reducing DON levels in grain. Project Title 2: The severity of Fusarium head blight (FHB) epidemics in the United States has caused enormous yield and quality losses in both wheat and barley over the last decade. The development of this disease is dependent on host genetics, a range of favorable environmental conditions, the prevalence of the causal fungus and the survival and spread of the causal fungus. Control of this disease has been difficult because of the complex nature of the host/pathogen interaction. Management of FHB and the associated mycotoxin DON have not been achieved by any single control measure. An integrated approach is critical to attaining the best possible control of FHB in any given environment. This proposal was to repeat the trial as done in 2006-2007 to see if results are reproducible and to obtain a second year’s data on the integrated management of FHB. The 2007-2008 season was quite favorable for the development of FHB. Differences between crop sequences in both yield and DON levels were significant. Fungicide applications also improved yield under both crop sequences. The current proposal is for a third year of the trial following the same protocol. Project Title 3: Building on techniques perfected in New York and Virginia in 2007-2008, we will use a marked (AFLP) isolate, release-recapture experimental approach to assess relative contribution of localized clonal inocula to infection of cereal heads at the source and at more than 100 feet from the source in commercial wheat and barley fields otherwise lacking corn or cereal debris. We expect that concentrated clonal inoculum may overestimate the contribution of local inoculum to FHB and DON, so we are also employing replicated microplots in each experimental field with naturally overwintered corn debris collected from sources close to those same wheat and barley fields. The research will be conducted in two commercial-scale wheat or barley fields per season in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, and Virginia. All field sites are in regions with considerable acreage of over-wintered corn residues nearby.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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