Advantage of biocontrol means over chemicals in controlling seed and seedling diseases of maize.
The experiments were conducted at Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh during 2008-2009 to find out the seed treating potentiality of BAU-Biofungicide (Trichoderma) and Biofertilizer (Rhizobium) in comparison with chemicals (Carbendazim, sulphur and Carboxin) for controlling seed and seedling diseases of maize. In laboratory, the germination and prevalence of seed-borne fungi of two maize cultivars cv. BARI Hybrid Bhutta-5 and Khai Bhutta were investigated by blotter method and seven species of fungi representing five genera were identified viz. Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Rhizopus stolonifer, Bipolaris maydis, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium moniliforme and Penicillium oxalicum. In the field, the highest increase in germination over control was under Vitavax-200 in BARI Hybrid Bhutta-5 (29.13%) and BAU-Biofungicide in Khai Bhutta (10.89%). Maximum reduction of post emergence death of seedling over control was observed under Biofertilizer (67.89%) followed by Vitavax-200 (63.78%) in BARI Hybrid Bhutta-5 and Biofertilizer in Khai Bhutta (71.87%). Seed treatment with BAU-Biofungicide it was found that the highest reduction of the diseased seedling in both the varieties that resulted 62.35% and 63.31% reduction over control. Altogether, seven different diseases viz. Bipolaris leaf spot, Maize dwarf mosaic, Maize stripe, Penicillium seedling blight, Southern corn leaf blight, Bacterial top rot and Foot and root rot were recorded at seedling stage. Potential control of seedling diseases of maize were observed by BAU-Biofungicide, Biofertilizer and Vitavax-200, while BAU-Biofungicide reduced upto 100% disease incidence of penicillium seedling blight and bacterial top rot of khai bhutta over control. In field trial, Vitavax-200 showed the highest vigour index (3995) in BARI Hybrid Bhutta-5, whiole the maximum vigour index (3767) was obtained by BAU-Biofungicide as seed treating antagonist in Khai Bhutta.