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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Fungicide Effects on Fungal Community Composition in the Wheat Phyllosphere

Karlsson, Ida; Friberg, Hanna; Steinberg, Christian; Persson, Paula


The fungicides used to control diseases in cereal production can have adverse effects on non-target fungi, with possible consequences for plant health and productivity. This study examined fungicide effects on fungal communities on winter wheat leaves in two areas of Sweden. High-throughput 454 sequencing of the fungal ITS2 region yielded 235 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at the species level from the 18 fields studied. It was found that commonly used fungicides had moderate but significant effect on fungal community composition in the wheat phyllosphere. The relative abundance of several saprotrophs was altered by fungicide use, while the effect on common wheat pathogens was mixed. The fungal community on wheat leaves consisted mainly of basidiomycete yeasts, saprotrophic ascomycetes and plant pathogens. A core set of six fungal OTUs representing saprotrophic species was identified. These were present across all fields, although overall the difference in OTU richness was large between the two areas studied.

Published in

2014, Volume: 9, number: 11, article number: e111786