Validation of use and efficacy of CLO-1 for the management of Fusarium head blight in wheat in Eastern Canada

Project Code: PRR012-100

Project Lead

Yves Dion  Centre de recherche sur les grains inc. (CÉROM), Québec

Objective

To validate efficacy in the field of CLO-1 for the management of fusarium head blight on wheat in eastern Canada

Summary of Results

Background

Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Gibberella zeae (syn. Fusarium graminearum), is the most important wheat disease in Canada. Infection of wheat by the pathogen results in reduction of grain yield and kernel contamination with mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). Current management of this disease relies on fungicide applications to sustain yield and quality of grains in most wheat production areas. Clonostachys rosea strain ACM 941 is a mycoparasite fungus isolated from field pea leaves, which has been shown to provide protection against a number of plant pathogens including F. graminearum. Efficacy of ACM941 for the management of FHB has been previously evaluated under controlled environments including greenhouse and research plots.

This project aimed to validate the use and efficacy of ACM941 in experimental plots with naturally occurring FHB, managed comparably to commercial farms in several wheat regions of eastern Canada.

Approaches

The trials were conducted in 2012, at 5 locations: Beloeil (Centre de recherche sur les grains incorporated), Quebec; Saint-Hyacinthe (Research Farm, La Coop fédérée), Quebec; Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures Experimental Farm (Université Laval), Quebec; Ottawa (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre), Ontario; and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Crops and Livestock Research Centre, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Each trial consisted of 9 treatments of a powder formulation of the ACM941 strain, including 5 single applications at different wheat growth stages and 4 treatments each consisting of 2 applications at 2 different wheat growth stages. The ACM941 solution contained 107 Colony Forming Units per millilitre and was applied to wheat plots at 200 Litres per hectare. Untreated and standard (using the commercial fungicides Prosaro or Proline) treatments were used as controls to compare the efficacy of ACM941 in suppressing FHB. Measures of disease index, percent infected spikes, thousand kernel weight and yield were used to assess the efficacy.

Results and discussion

The weather in 2012 was exceptionally dry across all testing locations and not favorable for infection by F. graminearum, thus resulting in very low disease pressure at all trial sites. The low disease pressure did not allow adequate evaluation of the efficacy of ACM941 against FHB. Additional trials are therefore required to assess the appropriateness and efficacy of the biocontrol under commercial field conditions. It is worth noting that no phytotoxicity was observed in wheat plants from the ACM941 formulation used in this study at any of the testing locations. ACM941 did not reduce grain size or test weight nor reduce grain yield.

For more information details on this project, please contact Mr. Yves Dion at CÉROM, Quebec.

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