Fungi associated with seeds of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) cultivars grown in Iraq.
Mycobiota associated with seeds of nine sunflower cultivars/inbreed (Helianthus annuus) viz. 'Akmar', 'Eurofflore', 'AS 508', 'Mannon', 'AS 615', 'Florasol' and three unidentified local cultivars were studied. The seeds were associated with 48 species of fungi belonging to 19 genera. The broadest species spectrum on most cultivars consisted of the genera Aspergillus (nine species), Alternaria and Fusarium (six species each), followed by Penicillium (four species), Chaetomium, Trichoderma and Ulocladium (three species each). Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Chaetomium globosum, Alternaria alternata, A. fumigatus, Ch. atrobrunneum, A. terreus, Penicillium expansum, P. brevicompactum, Fusarium oxysporum, F. solani, Rhizopus stolonifer, Mucor hiemalis and A. ochraceus were the most frequent species. The species composition, percentage of seed infection and seed germination percentage differed among cultivars. 'Akmar' cultivar showed the lowest number of detected species (17 species), whereas the highest number (48 species) was isolated from the unidentified local cultivar 3. The highest fungal infestation was recorded in unidentified local cultivar 3 (45%) and the lowest - in 'Akmar' (10%). Maximum seed germination was observed in 'Akmar' (100%) and minimum in unidentified local cultivar 3 (38%). Seed-borne pathogenic species Macrophomina phaseolina was detected in the three unidentified local cultivars with low percentage occurrence.