Analysis of microbial taxonomical groups present in maize stalks suppressive to colonization by toxigenic Fusarium spp.: A strategy for the identification of potential antagonists

J. Köhl*, C.H. Lombaers-van der Plas, A. Moretti, R. Bandyopadhyay, S. Somma, P. Kastelein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pink ear rot of maize caused by Fusarium verticillioides, Fusariumproliferatum and Fusariumgraminearumcan lead to severe yield losses and contamination of grain with a range of mycotoxins. Maize stalks colonized by Fusarium spp. are the main primary inoculum source for Fusarium incited epidemics in maize or other susceptible crops grown in rotation. The colonization of individual maize stalks originating from fields in The Netherlands, Italy and Nigeria byFusarium spp. was quantified using specific TaqMan-PCR assays. Highest values were found for F. graminearum and Fusariumavenaceum in Dutch samples, for F. graminearum and FUM producing species (F. verticillioides and F. proliferatum) in Italian samples and FUM producing Fusarium spp. in Nigerian samples. The increase in Fusarium spp. colonization under field conditions during a period of 3–6 months after harvest of the maize crops varied considerably between individual stalks. The fungal and bacterial diversity was analyzed for sub-sets of stalks with high versus low increase of Fusariumcolonization. Bacterial taxonomic groups such as Bacillus, Curtobacterium, Erwinia, Flavobacterium,Novosphingobium, Pantoea, Sphingomonas, Rahnella and Staphylococcus and fungal taxonomic groups such as Acremomium sp., Cryptococcus flavescens, Cryptococcus zeae, Leptosphaeria sp. andMicrodochium bolleyi were more abundant in the stalks with lower increase in pathogen colonization. Such fungal and bacterial groups associated with ‘suppressive stalks’ may be antagonistic to Fusarium spp. and a source of candidate strains for the selection of new biological control agents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
JournalBiological Control
Volume83
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • biological-control
  • rhizosphere microbiome
  • quantitative detection
  • microdochium-bolleyi
  • acremonium-strictum
  • fungal antagonists
  • idriella-bolleyi
  • seed treatment
  • head blight
  • durum-wheat

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