Magnaporthe oryzae is the major pathogen of cultivated rice worldwide, which can cause substantial losses to rice production. Rice blast management is based predominantly on the application of fungicides; however, only a little is known about responses of pathogen populations to the most widely used fungicides. In this work, the baseline sensitivity of the Italian M. oryzae population to tricyclazole and azoxystrobin in terms of mycelium growth was determined, and the possible adaptation of the pathogen population after several years of repeated exposure to fungicide treatments was evaluated. All the analyzed strains demonstrated higher sensitivity and variability to azoxystrobin (concentration of fungicide causing 50% growth inhibition [ED50] = 0.063 mg liter–1) than to tricyclazole (99.289 mg liter–1). After comparing two additional populations collected from fields repeatedly treated with fungicides to the baseline, no decrease in sensitivity toward these fungicides was observed and no resistant strains were detected. The shift of the pathogen sensitivity toward these fungicides has not occurred, although we observed slightly increased variance associated with ED50 of azoxystrobin. Therefore, both azoxystrobin and tricyclazole can be used to manage rice blast in Italy but it will be important to continue monitoring M. oryzae population to early detect possible azoxystrobin resistance.
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