Diversity of Mycobiota and Oomycete Taxa of Maize in Uzbekistan

Corn, also called as maize, cereal plant of the grass family (Poaceae) is a worldwide mass-produced agricultural crop. It is one of the most widely distributed of all the world’s food crops. Corn is used as livestock feed, as human food, as biofuel, and as raw material in industry. However, in recent decades, the grain yield and quality of corn are seriously reduced by many diseases around the world. Therefore, this study initially aims to introduce our ongoing survey, mostly focused on diversity of fungi and oomycete dwelling on maize in Uzbekistan followed by summarizing the results of previous studies in the region, with a special view on microbiota occurring in the maize. Field trips to corn plantation were organized in 2022-2023. Twenty-three fungi and oomycete taxa (18 ascomycetous, 2 basidiomycetous, 1 mucoromycetous and 1 oomycete) were reported from stems, leaves and grains of corn. Most of these taxa belong to Dothideomycetes (7 genera and 8 species), Sordariomycetes (6; 8), and Ustilaginomycetes (2; 2). The most frequent genera observed were Alternaria, Fusarium, Ustilago, and Sporidesmium. Furthermore, it has been observed that some pathogens cause serious diseases such as anthracnose stalk rot, aspergillus ear rot, common smut, diplodia stalk rot, fusarium ear rot, head smut on local several hybrids of corn in the study area. An ongoing survey is needed here to obtain a more precise assessment of the fungi and oomycete pathogens. This work was supported by Alliance of International Science Organizations, (Grant No. ANSO-CR-KP-2022-07).

Key Words: Fungi, Oomycete, Pathogens, Central Asia, Diversity, Corn Diseases