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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 12-17

Suppression of emergence and growth of gorse (Ulex europaeus) seedlings by Fusarium tumidum

E. Yamoah, E.E. Jones, D.M. Suckling, G.W. Bourd˘t and A. Stewart

ABSTRACT

The effect of Fusarium tumidum, a potential mycoherbicide, on gorse seedling emergence and growth was examined in three experiments. In Experiment 1, F. tumidum-inoculated wheat grains (one, two or three) were placed close to pre-germinated gorse seeds at sowing. Shoot and root dry weights of inoculated seedlings were lower than the control treatment at all three inoculum densities but there was no significant difference in percentage emergence. In Experiments 2 and 3, two inoculated wheat grains were placed in contact with the seedlings at sowing. Less than 50% of inoculated seedlings emerged compared with 97% in the control treatments from both experiments. Soon after emergence, about one-third of the inoculated seedlings that had emerged died from damping-off disease caused by F. tumidum. Shoot and root dry weights of inoculated seedlings were significantly lower than the control treatment. The results suggest that F. tumidum can suppress gorse seedling emergence and growth.

Keywords: Fusarium tumidum, Ulex europaeus, biological control, seedling emergence, mycotoxins, trichothecenes.

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