This past week (February 23 2016) we had our first thesis defense in the Lab two years after moving the Lab from UFRGS to UFV. Previously, I had advised eight M.Sc. students when I was a faculty member in southern Brazil.
I had the pleasure to advise Franklin Jackson Machado, a UFV Agronomist, who presented his thesis seminar for the Department entitled “Fusarium head blight of wheat: resistance to fungicides and meta-analysis of control efficacy”. Franklin successfully defended the work for a committee composed of two members: Prof. Eduardo Mizubuti, his co-adviser, and Dr. Miller Lehner, a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University, who participated via video conference.
The fungicide resistance work was conducted in collaboration with Prof. Dauri Tessmann (UEM), who kindly provided and identified to species a collection of isolates collected over four years in fungicide-sprayed wheat field plots in southern Paraná. Interesting results were found regarding the variation in sensitivity of the Fusarium head blight pathogen populations to tebuconazole and carbendazim, with some isolates exhibiting high levels of insensitivity to both fungicides. A systematic review of fungicide testing studies conducted in Brazil during the last 15 years was conducted and a meta-analytic of selected treatments summarized of the benefits of fungicide in reducing disease severity and increasing yield.
The results of both studies will be presented at the 5th International Symposium on Fusarium head blight next April in Florianópolis, Brazil. Franklin will stay in the Lab for a few more four years as a doctorate student.