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  • 1 Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Food Science and Technology P.O. Box 62000-00200 Nairobi Kenya
  • 2 Harper Adams University Crop and Environment Sciences Newport TF10 8NB UK
  • 3 University of Nottingham School of Biosciences Nottingham LE12 5RD UK
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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a disease of small-grain cereals that has a proven negative impact on crop yield, quality and food safety. In this regard, it is one of the most studied diseases of small-grain cereals worldwide. This paper reports the commonly used artificial sources of inoculum and inoculation techniques employed in the study of FHB epidemiology. Spore suspensions and grain spawn are the most popular forms of artificial inoculums. Spray inoculation technique is more commonly used than the point inoculation technique for delivering the inocula to the target sites. Spray inoculation has an advantage over point inoculation in that it can be used to detect both Type I and II resistances to FHB, point inoculation can only detect Type II resistance to FHB. Grain spawn is the commonest soil-surface inoculum used in the study of FHB. Its advantage lies in the fact that it is capable of propagating inoculum over a long period of time compared to other methods. It can also detect the five types of resistances reported (Types I, II, III, IV and V). In order to gain further information regarding the epidemiology of FHB, researchers need to explore other potential sources of artificial inoculum.

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