Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich

Less fusarium toxins by choosing the right varieties?

In field experiments in 1999 to 2002, using 20 winter wheat varieties, the effects of artificial inoculations (application of spore suspensions at flowering) and semi-natural inoculations (spreading of Fusarium graminearum-colonised maize straw after sowing in autumn) on Fusarium head blight incidence and DON contamination were investigated. The maize straw method was used to mimic direct seeding with the pre-crop grain maize. For a given variety, the choice of inoculation method did not strongly alter the observed degree of susceptibility to ear infestation. However, only maize straw inoculations led to a rather close correlation between the toxin content and ear or grain infestation. Depending on the variety and the year, high contents of DON occurred in both grains and straw. In straw, the toxin contents were as high or exceeded those detected in grains.

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