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Control of Fusarium verticillioides (Sacc.) Nirenberg and fumonisins by using a combination of crop protection products and fertilization
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Fusarium verticillioides is the most common fungal pathogen associated with maize ear rot in Tanzania. In a two-year trial, we investigated the efficacy of crop protection (insecticide and/or fungicide) and fertilizer (nitrogen and/or phosphorus) treatments in reducing the occurrence of F. verticillioides and its mycotoxins in maize grown in Tanzania. Seasonal differences were seen to have a substantial influence on the incidence and severity of insect infestation, Fusarium ear and kernel rot, biomass of F. verticillioides and contamination with fumonisins. With regard to the application of fertilizers, it was concluded that the impact on maize stalk borer injury, Fusarium symptoms and fumonisin levels was not significant, whereas crop protection significantly reduced maize damage. The application of an insecticide was most effective in reducing insect injury and as a result of the reduced insect injury the insecticide treatment also resulted in a significant decrease in Fusarium symptoms. In 2014, fumonisin levels were also significantly lower in maize treated with an insecticide. Additionally, significant positive correlations between insect damage and Fusarium symptoms were observed. In conclusion, this study clearly shows that application of an insecticide alone or in combination with a fungicide at anthesis significantly reduces insect damage and consequently reduces F. verticillioides infection and associated fumonisin contamination.
Number of pages: 1