An isolate of Fusarium solani (Sud 96) obtained from infected Striga plants in Sudan and six other isolates from Japan were evaluated for their effects on Striga germination. Among all the isolates, only the one from Sudan demonstrated high inhibitory activity. Aqueous and organic solvent culture extracts, as well as fungus suspension, when mixed with GR24, a synthetic analog of the natural germination stimulant strigol, inhibited germination of conditioned Striga seeds. Fusarium solani (Sud 96) filtrates, from cultures grown on autoclaved rice, sorghum grains, and potato dextrose agar (PDA), were more effective in reducing Striga germination than those from cultures grown on wheat straw. A significant difference between rice compared to sorghum and PDA cultures only occurred at high dilutions (40-fold). Complete inhibition of germination occurred when F. solani (Sud 96) culture filtrates and GR24 were applied simultaneously. Filtrate treatments made 2, 4 and 6 h subsequent to treatment with GR24 were less inhibitory. Filtrate treatments applied 8 h or more following GR24 had negligible effects on germination. Chromatographic separation on a silica gel column indicated the presence of several compounds with high inhibitory activity.
Nomenclature: Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc.; rice, Oryza sativa L.; sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench; wheat, Triticum aestivum L.; witchweed, Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth.