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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #215207

Title: Development of a reliable inoculation technique to assess resistance in pearl millet to Fusarium grain mold

item Wilson, Jeffrey - Jeff

Submitted to: Journal of Semi-Arid Tropical Agricultural Research (Journal of SAT Research)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2007
Publication Date: 1/2/2008
Citation: Nutsugah, S.K., Wilson, J.P. 2007. Development of a reliable inoculation technique to assess resistance in pearl millet to Fusarium grain mold. Journal of SAT Agricultural Research 5(1).

Interpretive Summary: Grain and seed molds commonly occur when a pearl millet crop matures during times of high humidity or excessive rainfall. These molds can reduce seed viability and stand establishment, and can also contribute to mycotoxin contamination in food and feedstuffs. An inoculation technique was successfully developed that will allow researchers to evaluate germplasm for resistance to common grain mold fungi under controlled conditions. This technique will be valuable for inheritance and quality studies. Resistant inbreds identified in this study will be used to develop new resistant pearl millet hybrids for humid production environments.

Technical Abstract: Pearl millet is an alternative grain for the drought-prone southeast region of the United States. High humidity in this region can frequently promote the development of diverse fungi associated with grain mold complex. This study was conducted to develop a reliable method for grain mold inoculations, and to assess the grain mold resistance of pearl millet inbreds. A mixture of F. semitectum, F. chlamydosporum and F. verticillioides was used to inoculate seven pearl millet inbreds, Tift 454, Tift 99B, 106B, 206B, 406B, 506B and 606B in the greenhouse. Mold growth was visible at 3 days, and increased during the 7 day incubation period. Mold severity ratings did not differ when evaluated at 2 or 4 weeks after inoculation. More precise control over environmental conditions during the incubation period should be explored for more consistent results across inoculation dates. Inbreds differed in their susceptibility to grain molds. Tift 99B, Tift 454, and 606B were most susceptible inbreds, whereas 506B and 106B were the most resistant. These experiments identified a combination of inoculation treatment and incubation technique that was sufficient for the reliable development of grain mold in pearl millet for breeding, inheritance, and quality studies.