Original Articles

Effect of Busseola fusca on the incidence of maize ear rot caused by Fusarium moniliforme and Stenocarpella maydis

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 9, issue 4, 1992 , pages: 177–179
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.1992.10634625
Author(s): B.C. Flett, Republic of South Africa, J., B.J. van Rensburg, Republic of South Africa

Abstract

The influence of Busseola fusca incidence and damage on Fusarium moniliforme and Stenocarpella maydis ear rots was studied in the field using artificial infestation with B. fusca, mechanical damage and pathogen inoculation. B. fusca infestation increased the incidence of F. moniliforme infected maize ears irrespective of artificial or natural F. moniliforme infection. Mechanical damage plus F. moniliforme inoculum also resulted in a high incidence of F. moniliforme-infected ears suggesting that physical damage to the ear will increase F. moniliforme-infected ears. Fungus-infected rotten kernel percentages of B. fusca-damaged treatments did not differ significantly from the control. The insignificant correlation (r = −0.206; P = 0.695) between F. moniliforme- infected ears and per cent rotten kernels indicates that in the case of the former, when used as a disease criterion, damage was localized and did not result in significant grain quality reductions. Neither B. fusca nor physical damage significantly affected the incidence of S. maydis-infected ears or rotten kernels. Therefore, under the conditions of this study, the control of B. fusca will not result in significant grain quality improvement.

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