Root Rot of Wheat in Italy Caused by Fusarium graminearum Group I. V. Balmas, Istituto Sperimentale per la Patologia Vegetale, 00156 Rome, Italy. Plant Dis. 78:03171. Accepted for publication 29 November 1993. Copyright 1994 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-78-0317A.
Foot rot, the most important disease of durum wheat in Italy, is commonly caused by Fusarium spp. in association with several other fungi. Fusarium graminearum Schwabe group 1 was isolated from brown-colored stem bases of durum wheat cv. Ofanto collected from Foggia in southern Italy. F. graminearum is distinguished in two ecotypes: group 1 does not form perithecia in culture and is associated with crown rot of wheat group 2, which produces perithecia readily in culture, is usually associated with head blight (scab) of wheat (I). The four isolates of F. graminearum obtained from cv. Ofanto did not produce perithecia on carnation leaf agar after 20 days under controlled conditions (25 C day, 20 C night, with a 12-hr photoperiod). F. graminearum group 2 has not been isolated from durum wheat cv. Ofanto in southern Italy in the same area. Pathogenicity of F. graminearum group 1 was tested under controlled conditions in the greenhouse on seedlings of durum wheat (cv. Simento) and barley (cv. Arda) in soil artificially infested with one isolate of F. graminearum group 1. Stem and crown necrosis were observed after 3 wk, and F. graminearum group 1 was isolated.Reference: (I) R. G. Francis and L. W. Burgess. Trans. Br. Mycol. Soc. 68:421. 1977.