Wheat endophytes as potential biological control agents against Fusarium head blight
Abstract: Fusarium head blight, caused by Microdochium nivale and several species of Fusarium, is one of the most important diseases on wheat crops worldwide. To control the disease, the use of endophytic microorganisms as biological control agents might be promising. The objective of the present work was to isolate endophytes from wheat plants and to test them for their ability to inhibit the growth of Fusarium spp. One hundred endophyte strains have been tested in dual culture assays with Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum. We observed a wide range of efficacy among strains in their ability to control Fusarium spp., with inhibition scores ranging from 0 to 48.5%. A good correlation was obtained between levels of antagonism towards both species of Fusarium tested.