Incidence and distribution of seed-borne fungi associated with wheat in Markazi Province, Iran.
53 seed samples collected from harvested seed loads of irrigated wheat fields in Markazi province in the central of Iran was used for this study. Isolation and identification of seed-borne fungi were conducted according to standard tests described by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA). A total of 15 fungal species including Tilletia laevis, Tilletia tritici, Ustilago tritici, Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium culmorum, Microdochium nivale, Bipolaris sorokiniana, Alternaria alternata, Curvularia sp., Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus candidus, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium sp., Mucor sp. and Rhizopus sp. were identified in three wheat cultivars of Backcross Roshan, Alvand and C-78-14. The average of infection level in tested samples to both T. laevis and T. tritici was estimated as much as 7.1% in the province and the minimum and maximum infection levels were found in Lilian (Khomein) and Jirya regions (Arak), respectively. The average of infection rate by U. tritici in seed samples was 1.3% while it was as much as 17.4% for both F. culmorum and B. sorokiniana in the province. The frequency of A. niger and Penicillium sp. was predominant with an infection range of 37.8 and 29.1%, respectively. For the first time, the incidence and infection level of seed-borne fungi in wheat seeds have been determined in the central part of Iran.