Efficacy of Two Potassium Silicate Formulations and Two Trichoderma Strains on Fusarium Head Blight of Wheat

  • K. S. YoboEmail author
  • Z. N. C. Mngadi
  • M. D. Laing
Research Article


Three rates (1.5, 3 and 4.5 g) of a granulated formulation and three concentrations (200, 300 and 600 mg L−1) of a liquid formulation of potassium silicate (KSi) were tested against Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat under greenhouse conditions. Granulated KSi gave slightly better control of FHB than the liquid KSi on wheat under greenhouse conditions in the two KSi trials. Granulated KSi (3 g) reduced FHB severity by 49% as compared to the pathogen-inoculated control treatment when disease severity was assessed 12 days after treatment application during the first KSi trial (p = 0.04). In the repeated trial, granulated KSi (4.5 g) reduced FHB severity by 54% as compared to the pathogen-inoculated control treatment when disease severity was assessed 12 days after treatment application. Control of FHB severity did not improve afterwards as a result of either the granulated or liquid treatments during the two KSi trials. Treatment with granulated KSi at the rate of 3 and 4.5 g had lower disease severities than the 1.5 g granular KSi treatment 12 days after plants were treated with Fusariumgraminearum F.32 during the two KSi trials. However, the liquid formulation of KSi at 200 and 300 mg L−1, KSi gave better protection than the application at 600 mg L−1. There was no significant difference in FHB severity on wheat heads, or the number of infected grains, after treatments with KSi alone, or KSi combined with the two Trichoderma formulations, T. harzianum strain kd and/or T. harzianum strain 77.


Biocontrol Fusarium graminearum Fusarium head blight Potassium silicate Trichoderma harzianum 



The authors acknowledge Plant Health Products (Pty) Ltd. for providing the Trichoderma formulation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.

Human and Animal Rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. 1.
    Mesterházy Á, Tóth B, Varga M, Bartok T, Szabó-Hevér A, Farády L, Lehoczki-Krsjak S (2011) Role of fungicides, application of nozzle types, and the resistance level of wheat varieties in the control of Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol. Toxins 3:1453–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lacey J, Bateman GL, Mirocha CJ (1999) Effects of infection time and moisture on development of ear blight and deoxynivalenol production by Fusarium spp. in wheat. Ann Appl Biol 134:277–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bai G, Chen L, Shaner G (2003) Breeding for resistance to Fusarium head blight of wheat in China. In: Leonard KJ, Bushnell WR (eds) Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley. APS, St Paul, pp 296–317Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Riungu GM, Muthomi JW, Narla RD (2007) Effect of antagonistic microorganisms on severity of Fusarium head blight of wheat and grain yield. Afr Crop Sci Conf Proc 8:827–832Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Palazzini JM, Ramirez ML, Torres AM, Chulze SN (2007) Potential biocontrol agents for Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol production in wheat. Crop Prot 26:1702–1710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Scala F, Raio A, Zoina A, Lorito M (2007) Biological control of fruit and vegetable diseases with fungal and bacterial antagonists. In: Chincholkar SB, Mukerji KG (eds) Biological control of plant diseases. Haworth Food and Agricultural Products Press, New York, pp 151–190Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lutz MP, Feichtinger G, Défago G, Duffy B (2003) Mycotoxigenic Fusarium and deoxynivalenol production repress chitinase gene expression in the biocontrol agent. Trichoderma atroviride P1. Appl Environ Microb 69:3077–3084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hull R (2004) Scientists start to recognize silicon’s beneficial effects. Turfgrass Trends Golfdom 60:69–73Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Van Bockhaven J, De Vleesschauwer D, Höfte M (2013) Towards establishing broad-spectrum disease resistance in plants: silicon leads the way. J Exp Bot 64:1281–1293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dallagnol LJ, Rodrigues FA, Tanaka Amorim L, Camargo LEA (2012) Effect of potassium silicate on epidemic components of powdery mildew on melon. Plant Pathol 61:323–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rains DW, Epstein E, Zasoski RJ, Aslam M (2006) Active silicon uptake by wheat. Plant Soil 280:223–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Epstein E (2009) Silicon: its manifold roles in plants. Ann Appl Biol 155:155–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Xavier Filha MS, Oliveira HV, Silveira PR, Moreira WR (2011) Wheat resistance to leaf blast mediated by silicon. Australas Plant Path 40:28–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fauteux F, Rémus-Borel W, Menzies JG, Bélanger RR (2005) Silicon and plant disease resistance against pathogenic fungi. FEMS Microbiol Lett 249:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mayland HF, Wright JL, Sojka RE (1991) Silicon accumulation and water uptake by wheat. Plant Soil 137:191–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hodson MJ, Sangster AG (1988) Silica deposition in the inflorescence bracts of wheat (Triticum aestivum). I. Scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. Can J Bot 66:829–838CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hodson MJ, Sangster AG (1989) Silica deposition in the inflorescence bracts of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). II. X-ray microanalysis and backscattered electron imaging. Can J Bot 67:281–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nash SM, Snyder WC (1962) Quantitative estimations by plate counts of propagules of the bean root rot Fusarium in field soils. Phytopathology 52:567–572Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nirenberg HI (1976) Untersuchungen €uber die morphologische und biologisch Diffrenzieerum in der Fusarium Sekion Lisiola. Mitteilungen aus der Biologischen Bundenanst Land-Forstwirtsch 169:1–117Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zadoks JC, Chang TT, Konzak CF (1974) A decimal code for growth stages of cereal. Weed Res 14:415–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dordas C (2008) Role of nutrients in controlling plant diseases in sustainable agriculture. Agron Sustain Dev 28:33–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Domician GP, Rodrigues FA, Vale FXR, Filha MSX, Moreira WR, Andrade CL, Pereira SC (2010) Wheat resistance to spot blotch potentiated by silicon. J Phytopathol 158:334–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Guével MH, Menzies JG, Bélanger RR (2007) Effect of root and foliar applications of soluble silicon on powdery mildew control and growth of wheat plants. Eur J Plant Pathol 119:429–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    ZanãoJúnior LA, Fontes RLF, Coelho PHM, Korndörfer GH, Zambolim L (2010) Soil-applied silicon decreases severity of wheat spot blotch on silicon-deficient soils. Rev Bras Ciệnc Solo 34:401–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bushnell WR, Hazen BE, Pritsch C (2003) Histology and physiology of Fusarium head blight. In: Leonard KJ, Bushnell WR (eds) Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley. APS, St Paul, pp 44–83Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Seong K, Zhao X, Xu J, Güldener U, Kistler HC (2008) Conidial germination in the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum. Fungal Genet Biol 45:389–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Harris LJ, Desjardins AE, Plattner RD, Nicholson P, Butler G, Young JC, Weston G, Proctor RH, Hohn TM (1999) Possible role of trichothecene mycotoxins in virulence of Fusarium graminearum on maize. Plant Dis 83:954–960CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Van de Ent S, Van Hulten M, Pozo MJ, Czechowski T, Udvardi MK, Pieterse CMJ, Ton J (2009) Priming a plant innate immunity by Rhizobacteria and β-aminobutyric acid: differences and similarities in regulation. New Phytol 183:419–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jackowiak H, Packa D, Wiwart M, Perkowski J (2005) Scanning electron microscopy of Fusarium damaged kernels of spring wheat. Int J Food Microbiol 98:113–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Plant Pathology, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalScottsville, PietermaritzburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations