Research

Fusarium head blight resistance to triazole fungicides in Western Canada

  • Term: 3 years, beginning in 2018
  • Funding Amount: $ 98,185
  • Lead Researcher(s): Pierre Fobert (National Research Council, Canada)
  • Funding Partners: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund (ADF)

Project Description:

The objective of this study is to report the presence and prevalence of resistance to triazole fungicides in the population of Fusarium graminearum (F.g) which causes Fusarium Head Blight, in Western Canada.

Fusarium head blight (FHB) is the most serious fungal disease affecting wheat production in Canada. Fusarium causes direct serious yield losses and also produces toxins, such as Deoxynivalenol (DON), which contaminate the grains and make them unsafe for consumption. Spraying fungicide is an important strategy for the management of FHB in Canada. Triazoles are the dominant and most effective group of fungicides used for FHB. These fungicides have been in use for about two decades in high FHB risk areas of southeast Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The sensitivity to triazole fungicides in the population of F.g. has not been yet investigated in Western Canada.

A fungicide resistance management plan could be incorporated into the FHB management strategy in case fungicide resistance is confirmed in the population of the pathogen. Wheat growers will benefit from including fungicide resistance in the annual surveying program, by being advised about the presence and prevalence of fungicide resistance in their region and the resistance management strategy that must be adopted. This allows farmers to maintain fungicide application as a viable control option while saving the cost of spraying fungicide to which large proportion of FHB isolates possess resistance. This study capitalizes on the ongoing projects led by Drs. Kutcher and Henriquez on the application timing of triazole fungicides for the control of FHB.  The results of this study in combination with the findings from ongoing projects will improve the efficacy of fungicide application for the integrated management of FHB in Western Canada.

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