Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Changes in farming practices impact on spore release patterns of the blackleg pathogen, Leptosphaeria maculans

J. McCredden A , R. B. Cowley A , S. J. Marcroft B and A. P. Van de Wouw C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A DuPont Pioneer Australia, 13 Lawson Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.

B Marcroft Grains Pathology, Grains Innovation Park, 110 Natimuk Road, Horsham, Vic. 3400, Australia.

C School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3050, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: apvdw2@unimelb.edu.au

Crop and Pasture Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/CP16404
Submitted: 26 October 2016  Accepted: 9 March 2017   Published online: 26 April 2017

Abstract

Blackleg disease is caused by the stubble-borne pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans and results in significant yield losses in canola (Brassica napus) worldwide. Control of this disease includes breeding for resistance, fungicides and cultural practices including stubble management. In recent years, cropping systems have changed with the introduction of no-till farming and inter-row sowing, and it is unknown what impact these changes have had on stubble retention. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of inter-row sowing on stubble retention and spore release. The use of inter-row sowing resulted in 25–48% of stubble remaining standing (vertical) in fields after 1 year. Furthermore, spore release was significantly (P < 0.05) delayed in stubble that remained vertical in the field compared with stubble lying down, with total spore release from vertical stubble 66% less than from horizontal stubble. The impact these changes have on the epidemiology of blackleg disease remains unknown.

Additional keywords: canola, horizontal stubble, inter-row sowing, standing stubble.


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