Shatha AlaoufiQassim University, Saudi Arabia
Title: Effect of Field-applied Fungicides on Claviceps purpurea Sclerotia and Associated Toxins in Wheat
Claviceps purpurea (Fr.) Tul is the causal organism for ergot impacting grass hosts, including wheat. The pathogen produces ergot alkaloids (EAs) during the development of mature sclerotia leading to potential wheat quality discounts or rejection at the point of sale. Cultural practices are recommended for the management of ergot in wheat, but there is limited information pertaining to the use of in-season fungicides to help reduce ergot. The objective of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of four fungicides (prothioconazole + metconazole, pydiflumetofen + propiconazole, azoxystrobin + propiconazole, and fluxapyroxad + pyraclostrobin) on sclerotia characteristics, and EAs associated with C. purpurea. A field experiment was established using a male-sterile hard red spring line with fungicide applications occurring at complete full head emergence (Feekes Growth Stage 10.5). Individual plots were harvested and cleaned, and ergot sclerotia were collected. Physical characteristics and toxin production were examined. Fungicides had a significant (p < .05) impact on total ergot body weight (EBW), with all fungicides having lower EBW than the nontreated control. The fungicide premixture of pydiflumetofen + propiconazole had the lowest EBW among all treatments. Fluxapyroxad + pyraclostrobin had the lowest levels of EAs among fungicides. Results suggest that fungicide premixtures can potentially reduce EBW and influence EA production in wheat.
My name is Shatha Alaoufi, she completed her Ph.D. at North Dakota State University-Fargo in Food Safety and earned a master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Currently, she works as an assistant professor at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. Her areas of interest are food safety and human nutrition.