Impact of Environmental Conditions and Agronomic Practices on the Prevalence of Fusarium Species Associated with Ear- and Stalk Rot in Maize
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17373
Fusarium species are common pathogens on maize and reduce the product quality through contamination with mycotoxins thus jeopardizing safety of both animal feed and human food products. Monitoring of Fusarium infected maize ears and stalks was conducted in Germany to determine the range of Fusarium species present in the field and to assess the impact of tillage, crop rotation, and weather conditions on the frequency of Fusarium species. From 2016 till 2018, a total of 387 infected ears and 190 stalk segments from 58 locations in Germany were collected. For each sample location, site-specific agronomic data on tillage and previous crops as well as meteorological data on precipitation, air temperature, and relative humidity during the vegetation period were recorded. The most frequent Fusarium species detected in maize ears were Fusarium graminearum, F. verticillioides and F. temperatum, whereas, F. graminearum, F. equiseti, F. culmorum, and F. temperatum were the species prevailing on maize stalks. Differences in the local species composition were found to be primarily associated with weather variations between the years and the microclimate at the different locations. The results indicate that mean temperature and precipitation in July, during flowering, has the strongest impact on the local range of Fusarium spp. on ears, whereas the incidence of Fusarium species on stalks is mostly affected by weather conditions during September. Ploughing significantly reduced the infection with F. graminearum and F. temperatum, while crop rotation exerted only minor effects.
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