This study was aimed to evaluate the pathogenicity of two mostly prevailing fungal species on maize (Zea maize L.) from different localities of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan. Pathogenic fungi deteriorate food grains by producing mycotoxins and aflotoxins during storage consequently shedding menace on its nutritive quality. There were 12 species of mycoflora associated with maize seeds in the analyzed samples. Fusaium and Aspergillus species were the largest group of seed-borne fungal species present in all localities (87.25% and 82.50%, respectively). Fusarium moniliforme causes ear rot, kernel rot, stalk rot, seedling blight, seed rot, wilt and stunt and Aspergillus niger is responsible for rot of stored grain. These species were tested to determine their pathogenicity to maize seed germination and seedlings. Pathogenicity findings depicted that maize variety under cultivation in the area was highly susceptible to these fungal pathogens as Bhimber (61.5%) and Mirpur (60.25%) zones had more prevalence than other areas of AJK (23.5%). Results show thatFusarium moniliforme had 50.2% pathogenicity on seeds and 6.55% on seedlings,whilst Aspergillus niger had 62.87% on seeds and 11.24% on seedlings. These depicts that mycoflora had significant detrimental impacts on seeds and seedling’s life of maize.
Key words: Pathogenicity, seed-borne, mycoflora, maize, germination, Azad Kashmir.
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