Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Gibberella zeae, is an important disease of wheat and barley. Highly resistant varieties of wheat are not available, and labeled fungicides may not be effective or economically feasible. Choline stimulates early germ-tube growth of G. zeae, and choline utilizing strains may be effective competitors of the pathogen. HPLC and liquid culture techniques were used to screen over 700 microbial strains, obtained from anthers collected in Ohio and Illinois, for their ability to utilize choline. Five antagonists (including three choline-utilizers) reduced disease severity and deoxynivalenol (DON) content in kernels and increased 100 kernel weights (P=0.05). In two different sets of greenhouse tests employing three G. zeae isolates from various locations, bacterial strain AS 43.4 decreased disease severity by 67-95% and DON content in kernels by 89-97%. AS 43.4 increased 100 kernel weight by more than 200%. Biological control shows great promise as part of an IPM program against FHB.