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Occurrence of Fusarium head blight and Fusarium crown rot in Algerian wheat: identification of associated species and assessment of aggressiveness

Abstract

Fusarium head blight and Fusarium crown rot are two important fungal diseases of wheat worldwide. This research was carried out to study the most important species associated to these two diseases in Algeria. Symptomatic crowns and heads were collected from different wheat growing regions in Algeria. Morphological and molecular identifications showed the occurrence of six fungal species isolated from crowns for the 2 years: Fusarium culmorum (68%), F. pseudograminearum (10%), F. verticillioides (3%), F. avenaceum (2%), Microdochium majus (13%) and M. nivale (4%). Two species only, F. culmorum (94.1%) and F. pseudograminearum (5.9%), were obtained from the heads. Among the Fusarium spp., 30 isolates were chosen for the pathogenicity tests: F. culmorum isolated from symptomatic crowns (n = 10), F. culmorum isolated from blighted heads (n = 10) and F. pseudograminearum (n = 10). Pathogenicity tests were carried out by using three different methods: seed inoculation, soil inoculation and head inoculation. Results showed that F. culmorum isolates were the most aggressive on the wheat seedlings and on the head. However, F. pseudograminearum isolates were the most aggressive on the crown. High correlations were found between Fusarium isolates aggressiveness on the wheat seedlings and on the head for the two F. culmorum groups (FCC: r = 0.89 and FCH: r = 0.85). These results provide a simple in vitro test to predict pathogenicity of the F. culmorum isolates for head blight. This study highlight that F. culmorum is the dominant species associated with FHB and FCR in Algeria. Also, this is the first report concerning the identification of F. pseudograminearum, M. majus, F. verticillioides and F. avenaceum from wheat in Algeria.

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Acknowledgments

Nora Abdallah-Nekache thanks the «Comité Mixte d’Evaluation et de Prospective de la cooperation scientifique franco-algérienne » CMEP PHC TASSILI for support through the « Agence Française pour la promotion et l’enseignement supérieur, l’accueil et la mobilité internationale » during the stays at MycSA laboratory, INRA Bordeaux Aquitaine, France. She also thanks Dr. Nadia Boureghda (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Agronomie) for the realization of the geographical map of the distribution of the species of Fusarium and Microdochium and the two diseases in the prospected provinces, and Laetitia Pinson-Gadais for reviewing the manuscript before submission.

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This study was supported by «Comité Mixte d’Evaluation et de Prospective de la cooperation scientifique franco-algérienne » CMEP PHC TASSILI through the « Agence Française pour la promotion et l’enseignement supérieur, l’accueil et la mobilité internationale » and «Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Agronomie», Algeirs, Algeria. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. For this type of study formal consent is not required. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information.

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Abdallah-Nekache, N., Laraba, I., Ducos, C. et al. Occurrence of Fusarium head blight and Fusarium crown rot in Algerian wheat: identification of associated species and assessment of aggressiveness. Eur J Plant Pathol 154, 499–512 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-019-01673-7

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