FUSARIUM HEAD BLIGHT CAUSAL SPECIES IN SPRING WHEAT IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND IN 2019
Foster and Matters (2020) FUSARIUM HEAD BLIGHT CAUSAL SPECIES IN SPRING WHEAT IN PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND IN 2019. Published In: Canadian Plant Disease Survey 2020 Volume 100: Disease Highlights 2019, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 42:sup1, 1-175, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2020.1752524
Plain language summary
Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most important disease affecting wheat in Canada and can cause a loss in yield and result in grain being contaminated by toxins. To better understand the different fungi that can cause FHB in PEI, we collected wheat head samples from 10 fields across PEI and determined with which fungi species they were infected. More FHB was observed in fields in eastern PEI and the most abundant fungi was Fusarium sporotrichioides, a fungal species that does not produce the important mycotoxin deoxynivalenol, but different mycotoxins that are often not screened by growers..
Disease pressure of Fusarium head blight (FHB) of spring wheat was moderate for PEI in 2019 with higher disease in areas with localized rainfall around anthesis, but the region experienced a significant weather event. This year represented a difficult growing season with a cool wet spring leading into a dry summer followed by a rapid harvest season before Hurricane Dorian arrived September 7 and 8, 2019. Crops not harvested before the arrival of the storm faced significant mechanical damage and lodging. Note that all the field samples for this survey were collected before Dorian hit. Overall, Fusarium spp. were isolated from 17.6% of the sampled wheat heads, with more isolates collected in Prince county than Queens and Kings’ County. The most abundant FHB species isolated was F. sporotrichioides followed by F. poae, then F. graminearum. A small number of F. avenaceum isolates were also collected from wheat heads.