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Ability of an ELISA-Based Seed Health Test to Detect Erwinia stewartii in Maize Seed Treated with Fungicides and Insecticides

June 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  6
Pages  633 - 640

J. K. Pataky , Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801 ; C. C. Block , United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service North Central Plant Introduction Station, Ames, IA 50011 ; P. M. Michener , Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois ; L. M. Shepherd and D. C. McGee , Department of Plant Pathology and Seed Science Center, Iowa State University, Ames 50011 ; and D. G. White , Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois

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Accepted for publication 21 January 2004.

Two sets of experiments were done to examine whether seed-treatment chemicals affected the ability of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based seed health test to detect Erwinia stewartii. The chemicals evaluated included Actellic, Apron, Captan, Cruiser, Gaucho, Maxim, Poncho, Thiram, and Vitavax in 11 seed-treatment combinations. In one experiment, seed-treatment chemicals were evaluated quantitatively in a critical region of ELISA absorbance values near 0.5 using maize seed that were spiked with uniform quantities of a liquid suspension of E. stewartii. The number of bacteria in each sample was estimated from ELISA absorbance values using standard curves. Log CFU of E. stewartii per sample were not significantly different among the untreated control and the 11 seed treatments compared with Tukey's Studentized Range Test (P = 0.05). Means of log CFU/ml for all treatments were tightly clustered around 5.70 which corresponded to an absorbance value of 0.440 and a bacterial population of about 500,000 CFU/ml. In a second set of experiments, seed treatment chemicals were evaluated based on qualitative decisions that resulted from the ELISA-based seed health test of seed lots of Jubilee and A632 infected with E. stewartii. The number of negative samples was not substantially greater than expected based on binomial probabilities except for samples of Captan/Vitavax-treated A632, which we considered to be a type I error. The mean absorbance values of positive samples ranged from 1.42 to 1.72 for A632 and from 1.51 to 1.91 for Jubilee and did not differ significantly among the seed treatments. There was no consistent evidence from these experiments that fungicide or insecticide seed treatments interfered with the sensitivity of the ELISA or altered low (e.g., 0.5) or high (e.g. 1.4 to 1.9) absorbance values. The ability of the ELISA-based seed health test to detect E. stewartii in maize seed was not affected by these seed treatments.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society