Comparison of natural and artificial epidemics of take-all in sequences of winter wheat crops

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Bateman, G. L. and Hornby, D. 1999. Comparison of natural and artificial epidemics of take-all in sequences of winter wheat crops. Annals of Applied Biology - AAB. 135 (3), pp. 555-571.

AuthorsBateman, G. L. and Hornby, D.

Winter wheat was grown for six successive years (Expt 1) and for three successive years (Expt 2) in field experiments on different soil types. Artificial inoculum of the take-all fungus (Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici cultured on autoclaved oat grains) was incorporated in the soil of some of the plots just before, or at, sowing of the first winter wheat crop. Expt I tested the incorporation of similar amounts of inoculum (212 kg ha(-1)) at different depths. Expt 2 tested different amounts of inoculum at the same, shallow depth. Early sowing (September), late sowing (October) and spring inoculation were additional treatments, applied to the first crop only, in Expt 2. Seasonal factors apart, the disease outcome in the first year after inoculation depended an amounts and placement of applied inoculum, as well as date of sowing. Deeper inoculum resulted in less disease (Expt I). Severe take-all was produced in Expt 2 by incorporating inoculum shallowly in sufficient quantities (400 kg ha(-1) or more). Less inoculum (200 kg ha(-1)) generated less disease, especially in earlier-sown plots. Differences in disease amongst inoculum treatments were greatest in the first year and diminished subsequently, particularly where sowing had been early in the first year. In Expt I, where first crops exposed to artificial inoculum developed moderate-to-severe disease, disease in subsequent second and/or third crops was less. In the fourth crop a second peak of disease occurred, coinciding with a first peak in sequences without added inoculum. Take-all decline (TAD) appeared to be expressed in all sequences thereafter. In Expt 2 in sequences without added inoculum, TAD occurred after a peak of disease in the second crop. Where 400 kg ha(-1) or more of inoculum were added, disease was severe in the first year and decreased progressively in successive years. Disease was less patchy in plots that received artificial inoculum. However, it remains uncertain that severe disease caused by artificial inoculation achieved an early onset of true TAD. The infectivity of the top 12 cm of soil in the first 3 yr of Expt 1, determined by bioassay, depended on the depth of added inoculum and amount of disease in subsequent crops. However, at the time of the naturally occurring peak of disease severity (in either inoculated or non-inoculated plots) it did not predict either disease or TAD. Differences and similarities amongst epidemics developing naturally and those developing from different amounts and placement of applied inoculum have been revealed. The epidemiological implications of adding inoculum and the potential value of artificially-created epidemics of take-all in field trials are discussed.

KeywordsAgriculture, Multidisciplinary
Year of Publication1999
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology - AAB
Journal citation135 (3), pp. 555-571
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or code308
Project: 094137

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