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In vitro competition between Fusarium graminearum and Epicoccum nigrum on media and wheat grains

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Competitive effects between Fusarium graminearum, causing Fusarium head blight, and the endophyte Epicoccum nigrum, were performed in in vitro competition assays between the two species. Two E. nigrum isolates were isolated from wheat grains and tested as competitors against two F. graminearum isolates. A dual petri dish assay showed that E. nigrum reduced the mycelial growth of F. graminearum and vice versa. A glass slide assay revealed that E. nigrum crude cultural filtrate also had reducing effect on the growth of F. graminearum comparable to that of E. nigrum spore suspensions. Microscopy showed hyphae of F. graminearum and E. nigrum with many side branches when in close proximity, in contrast to pronounced apical hyphal growth when growing alone. Combinations of F. graminearum and E. nigrum on sterilised wheat grains were studied over time by qPCR. F. graminearum biomass was significantly reduced in inoculations applying E. nigrum three days prior to F. graminearum. In conclusion, these results showed competition and mycelial behaviour effects between F. graminearum and E. nigrum and support that E. nigrum may have potential to reduce F. graminearum infections in wheat. Competition experiments should be carried out in planta to study the interaction further.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Pages (from-to)657-670
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

    Research areas

  • Biocontrol, Endophytes, Fungal competition, qPCR, Wheat grains

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