Pathogenic potential of seed mycoflora of pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.].
Pearl millet seed samples were collected from Jodhpur, Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Nagour, Pali, Jaipur and Bharatpur districts of Rajasthan, India, to isolate the fungi associated with pearl millet seeds and to observe their effect on germination and seedling vigour. Alternaria alternata, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Curvularia lunata [Cochliobolus lunatus], Curvularia penniseti, Fusarium equiseti, Fusarium moniliforme and Rhizopus stolonifer were detected by standard blotter and agar plate methods. The percent germination of seeds was markedly suppressed by the pathogens. The maximum percent reduction in germination compared to the control was observed in C. lunata (38.0%) followed by C. penniseti (31.14%). The maximum decrease in plumule length was observed in F. moniliforme (39.27 mm) followed by F. equiseti (24.22 mm). Aspergillus niger and R. stolonifer did not affect plumule and radicle length. The culture filtrate of the pathogens caused reduction in percent germination and seedling vigour. The maximum inhibition in germination was obtained with the culture filtrate of Aspergillus flavus (86.04%) followed by F. moniliforme (49.87%) whereas minimum inhibition in germination was recorded with culture filtrate of Alternaria alternata (31.25%). The maximum reduction in plumule length was recorded with culture filtrate of Aspergillus niger (9.07 mm) followed by F. equiseti (18.10 mm) and F. moniliforme (18.93 mm). The minimum reduction in plumule length was observed with culture filtrate of C. lunata (41.55 mm). The maximum decrease in radicle length was observed with culture filtrate of Aspergillus flavus (7.17 mm), F. equiseti (11.30 mm) and F. moniliforme (12.30 mm).