• azoxystrobin;
  • conidial germination;
  • fungicide resistance;
  • Septoria tritici;
  • Triticum aestivum

The effect of the quinone outside inhibitors (QoI) azoxystrobin and pyraclostrobin on yields of winter wheat where QoI resistant Mycosphaerella graminicola isolates were dominant was investigated in field trials in 2006 and 2007. Pyraclostrobin significantly increased yields by 1·57 t ha−1 in 2006 and 0·89 t ha−1 in 2007 when compared to the untreated controls, while azoxystrobin only provided a significant increase of 1·28 t ha−1 in 2006. These yield increases were associated with reduction in septoria tritici blotch (STB) development as determined by weekly disease assessments over a 7 week interval. The effect of pyraclostrobin on STB was studied in controlled environment experiments using wheat seedlings inoculated with individual M. graminicola isolates. Pyraclostrobin significantly reduced STB symptoms by up to 62%, whether applied 48 h pre- or post- inoculation with resistant M. graminicola isolates containing the cytochrome b mutation G143A. Extremely limited disease (<1%) was observed on similarly treated seedlings inoculated with an intermediately resistant isolate containing the cytochrome b mutation F129L, while no disease was observed on seedlings inoculated with a wild-type isolate. Germination studies of pycnidiospores of M. graminicola on water agar amended with azoxystrobin or pyraclostrobin showed that neither fungicide inhibited germination of spores of resistant isolates containing the mutation G143A. However, pyraclostrobin significantly reduced germ tube length by up to 46% when compared with the untreated controls. Although the QoIs can no longer be relied upon to provide effective M. graminicola control, this study provides an insight into why QoIs still provide limited STB disease control and yield increases even in situations of high QoI resistance.