Fusarium graminearum causes seed decay and damping-off of soybean. This study evaluated the effect of inoculum density of F. graminearum, temperature, and fungicide seed treatments on disease development. To determine the optimum conditions for disease development, individual soybean seed was inoculated with 100 μl of a suspension of 2.5 × 102, 2.5 × 103, 2.5 × 104, or 2.5 × 105 macroconidia/ml in a rolled-towel assay at temperatures of 18, 22, and 25°C. Inoculum concentrations of 2.5 × 104 macroconidia/ml or higher were necessary for optimum disease development at all temperatures. The efficacy of captan, fludioxonil, mefenoxam + fludioxonil, azoxystrobin, trifloxystrobin, and pyraclostrobin as seed treatments was then evaluated with the same assay at 2.5 × 104 and 2.5 × 105 macroconidia/ml. Seed treated with captan at 61.9 g a.i. or fludioxonil at 2.5 or 5.0 g a.i. per 100 kg developed smaller lesions than other seed treatments and the nontreated control. Based on these results, there are limited choices in fungicide seed treatments for managing this seedling disease, and it is possible that shifts in seed treatment products may have played a role in the recent emergence of this soybean pathogen.
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