Bipolaris eleusines, a potential mycoherbicide candidate for control of barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli).
An isolate of Bipolaris eleusines was investigated as a potential candidate for biocontrol of barnyardgrass and additional weeds in paddy rice fields and for safety to selected crop species under greenhouse conditions. Barnyardgrass appeared more susceptible at the three-leaf stage than older plants, and disease severity increased as the fungal inoculum increased from 1×105 to 1×107 conidia/ml when sprayed till run-off. The high application rate caused 73% mortality of barnyardgrass, relative to the non-treated control, but increasing application rate to >1×107 conidia/ml did not enhance efficacy (P>.05). This B. eleusines isolate showed no pathogenicity to rice (Oryza sativa spp. indica, O. sativa spp. japonica and an O. sativa hybrid), corn, wheat or any dicot crop species tested while causing slight infection on sorghum and barley. We conclude that B. eleusines, with high efficacy against barnyardgrass and demonstrated safety to rice, is a promising mycoherbicide candidate worthy of further evaluation and development for control of barnyardgrass in paddy rice fields.