Biological control of Fusarium Head Blight under field conditions
Abstract: Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is one of the most economically devasting disease ofwheat, causing losses in yield and quality due to the presence of Fusarium damaged kernels andtheir associated mycotoxins such as the trichothecene deoxynivalenol (DON). Biological control,including treatment of crop residues with antagonists, alone or in combination in a multitrophicapproach, to reduce pathogen inoculum of FHB, holds considerable promise. Trichoderma gamsii6085 has been selected for its ability to grow in presence of DON and to reduce “in vitro” growthand mycotoxin production by F. graminearum and F. culmorum. Pythium sp. SC1-14a has beeninvestigated for its antagonistic and competitive ability against FHB causal agents. When testedin a field trial as biocontrol agents on wheat, either as soil or spikelets inoculant, both antagonistswere able to reduce the FHB incidence. DON and other trichothecenes were at very low levels incontrol plots, so no information on mycotoxins reduction by the antagonists are available.