Fusarium spp. update December 2016

The wettable powder formulation, which appeared to be adequate for seed treatment of maize and wheat showed an acceptable shelf life (see the update of September 2015), has been used in field trials in 2016 to evaluate the efficacy of the Trichoderma harzianum strain DSM25764 against plant pathogens and to set up an Integrated Pest Management strategy.

Induction of resistance

Earlier experiments showed that the Trichoderma harzianum strain DSM25764 was able to colonize both maize and wheat roots, although colonization was better in maize than in wheat. The root colonization appeared to depend on temperature, soil type and water availability. The Trichoderma harzianum strain was able to induce resistance which has been confirmed by greenhouse trials on maize and wheat.

Open field trials

Open field trials in Italy (wheat and maize), Sweden (spring wheat) and the Netherlands (spring wheat) have been conducted in 2016 to evaluate the efficacy of the DSM25764 strain applied as seed treatment in different environmental conditions.

The field trials on wheat were promising but not yet conclusive due to generally low disease pressure in the trials performed up to now. The field trials on maize showed promising results up to now in terms of root colonization.

Promising results

Results obtained up to now can be considered extremely promising, and if confirmed by new open-field trials in 2017, a new environmentally friendly and sustainable tool for the control of two important cereal diseases will become available.

The BIOCOMES research team (BIOGARD, Graz University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, University of Padova, Agro Plantarum) is investigating the capability of the Trichoderma harzianum DSMZ 25764 strain to act as an inducer of resistance against respectively Fusarium pink ear rot (Fusarium verticillioides) and Fusarium head blight (Fusarium graminearum) in wheat and maize.

See our earlier updates about Fusarium spp in cereals:

Read more about our activities on Fusarium spp.

Picture: Field trials at Agro Plantarum in Sweden.  (Agro Plantarum, Sweden).

Fusarium SPP update


Massimo Benuzzi
Massimo Benuzzi
Fusarium in cereals