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Fungi associated with field pea seeds from Ethiopia and seed transmission of Ascochyta pinodes

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Fungi associated with field pea (Pisum sativum) seeds were studied in seed lots harvested from commercial fields in Ethiopia during the 2000 and 2001 cropping seasons using blotter and agar plate methods. Studies were also conducted to locate infection of Ascochyta pinodes in the seed using component plating method. Sixteen fungi species were identified to be associated with the seeds including Alternaria alternata, Ascochyta pinodes, Ascochyta pisi, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus spp., Cladosporium cladosporioides, Chaetomium funicola, Curvularia brachyspora, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium avenaceum, Monilia spp., Penicillium spp., Phoma medicaginis var. pinodella, Rhizoctonia solani and Trichoderma spp. Among these, A. pinodes, C. cladosporioides and Penicillium spp. were most frequent with mean occurrence of 7.1, 6.6 and 3.9%, respectively, while the others occurred with less than 1.3% frequency. Surface sterilization of seeds excluded most fungi except A. niger, A. pinodes, A. pisi and P. medicaginis var. pinodella. The telomorph of A. pinodes was not observed. A. pinodes was located in the seed coat while embryo infection was incidental. Removal of the seed coat blocked transmission from seed to seedling. This fungus was found to be a highly seed transmissible pathogen with mean transmission efficiency of 86%. Both blotter and potato dextrose agar methods significantly (p < 0.05) predicted the transmission from seed to seedling and could be used as methods of detecting this pathogen. Although this pathogen was well detected on Coon's agar, the value did not predict seed transmission. Surface disinfecting of seeds with 1% NaOCl for 5 minutes reduced seed transmission only from 9.1 to 7.2%.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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