Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Biological Control
Biocontrol of Fusarium head blight with Bacillus spp.
K. BOWEN (1), J. Anderson (1), K. Liu (1) (1) Auburn University, U.S.A.
Fusarium head blight, caused by Fusarium graminearium, has become a cause of concern in many portions of Alabama. This disease was severe in Southern AL, due to frequent rainfall during flowering in 2015. Infection of F. graminearium reduces quantity and quality of yield by infecting the kernels of many grain crops; it also produces the mycotoxin, deoxynivalenol (DON). Wheat grain was collected from fungicide treated plots and found to be infested with Fusarium spp. Cultures were established from single spores and species were determined from morphology of spores and color of the fungus when mature. Biocontrol potential of selected Bacillus strains against F. graminearum was assayed using a dual culture method. Based on inhibition of fungal growth and spore production, strains were selected that were most suppressive against F. graminearum. In order to test the effectiveness of these strains in the field, five Bacillus strains will be applied to wheat heads during flower, and disease intensity will be rated 3 weeks later. Results of the field study will be reported. Any reduction in Fusarium head blight by a biological agent might contribute to overall management of this disease.