Effects of fungicides on in vitro spore germination and mycelial growth of the phytopathogens Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa (phoma stem canker of oilseed rape)
Eckert, Maria R.
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
BACKGROUND: Phoma stem canker, caused by the coexisting related fungal pathogens Leptosphaeria maculans (Des.) Ces. & de Not and L. biglobosa Shoemaker & H Brun, is a major disease of winter oilseed rape in the UK. Annually, over 90% of UK crops receive at least one foliar application of fungicide, but little is known about the sensitivity of the more damaging L. maculans and the less damaging L. biglobosa to these fungicides. The effects of flusilazole, tebuconazole and Methyl Benzimidazole Carbamate (MBC) fungicides (benomyl and carbendazim) on the germination of ascospores, conidia and germ tube growth of both species were examined. Isolates collected from different oilseed rape crops in England and Wales were assessed for their mycelial growth on fungicide-amended medium, and ED50 values were calculated. RESULTS: Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa differed in their sensitivity to fungicides. Conidial germination of L. maculans was more sensitive to these fungicides than that of L. biglobosa. Isolates of L. maculans had smaller ED50 values for mycelial growth for all fungicides tested than isolates of L. biglobosa. CONCLUSION:These results suggest that fungicide applications might affect the structure of L. maculans/L. biglobosa populations in UK winter oilseed rape crops.