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Colonization of Ergot Honeydew by Fusarium heterosporum. Barry M. Cunfer, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology. University of Georgia, College of Agriculture, Georgia Station, Experiment, GA 30212; Phytopathology 65:1372-1374. Accepted for publication 25 June 1975. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-65-1372.

The colonization of ergot (caused by Claviceps purpurea) honeydew by an isolate of Fusarium heterosporum is described. Fusarium heterosporum did not prevent ergot infection, but it prevented sclerotium formation when inoculated into rye and male-sterile barley florets from 3 days prior to ergot inoculation until 3 days after honeydew appeared. Fusarium heterosporum grew upon honeydew when inoculated 7 days after honeydew appeared but mature sclerotia formed. Fusarium heterosporum uses ergot honeydew as a food base, but does not penetrate ergot conidia or sphacelial hyphae. There was only a tenfold reduction in the number of ergot conidia within Fusarium-colonized sphacelia and the conidia that remained infected rye and barley. The possible use of F. heterosporum as a biological control is discussed.