Nachaat Sakr


Soluble silicon (Si) helps field crops, whether directly or indirectly, counteract fungal diseases, but in vitro inhibition of Fusarium head blight (FHB) pathogens and Cochliobolus sativus causing spot blotch (SB) and common root rot (CRR) has not been reported. The influence of Si on the mycelial growth of 16 FHB isolates of four agents (F. culmorum, F. verticillioides, F. solani and F. equiseti) and 54 C. sativus cultures (32 SB isolates + 22 CRR isolates) was investigated in four experiments. The growth of 70 isolates was not significantly inhibited (P>0.05) on Si added potato dextrose agar (PDA) dishes in the first experiment. However, when the pH of Si added PDA dishes was raised to 8.79, 9.57, 10.19 and 10.59, there were differences (P<0.05) in fungal growth of 16 FHB and 54 C. sativus isolates compared to Si added PDA dishes (pH was equivalent to 6.56) in the second experiment. NaOH added PDA medium was tested for 6 fungal isolates of the five analyzed species in the third experiment and it was found to have similar results to NaOH added Si-PDA. More importantly, differences in growth rates were observed for the 6 isolates in the fourth experiment when discs were transferred from NaOH added Si-PDA to PDA without NaOH and soluble silicon, indicating that NaOH added Si-PDA was fungicidal rather than fungistatic. Our results provide conclusive evidence that inhibition of fungal growth was principally due to the alkaline pH effect of NaOH added to Si PDA dishes. No fungicidal effects of Si were observed, suggesting that reduction of FHB, SB and CRR diseases can not be achieved through direct silicon application. Thus, our data highlight that other physical, biochemical, and/or molecular defense mechanisms could be behind the possible decreases in severity of FHB, SB and CRR diseases in cereal plants treated with low concentrations of Si. As far as we know, this is the first work exploring the fungicidal effect of Si on mycelial growth of causative agents of FHB, SB and CRR diseases in vitro.


cereal phytopathogenic species, colony diameter, fungal inhibition, media pH, mycelial growth

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Pakistan Journal of Phytopathology
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