Head smut of corn is caused by the fungus Sphacelotheca reiliana and occurs in the North-east of China and in regions of similar climate. Yield losses due to the disease are variable and directly depend on the severity of the disease. The objective of this study was to produce a coating technology to protect corn from S. reiliana and to avoid environmental pollution. The effects of seed coats on inhibitory index, germination percentage, seedling growth and crop yield of corn plant were investigated in the laboratory and field trials. Compared with the conventional toxic seed coating agent, the crop yield of seeds coated with the novel seed coating agent was increased by 11.6 - 14.6%. The fungal inhibition test of the novel seed coating agent showed that it had better fungal inhibitory effect. Our findings indicated that the application of the novel seed coat had a remarkable effect on the resistance to head smut of corn and yield enhancement.
Key words: Head smut of corn, seed coating agent, inhibitory index, germination percentage, corn yield.
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