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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cultivar Mixtures for the Simultaneous Management of Multiple Diseases: Tan Spot and Leaf Rust of Wheat

Authors
item Cox, C - KSU - PLANT PATHOLOGY
item Garrett, K - KSU - PLANT PATHOLOGY
item Bowden, Robert
item Fritz, A - KSU - AGRONOMY
item Dendy, S - KSU - PLANT PATHOLOGY
item Heer, W - KSU - AGRONOMY

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
Citation: Cox, C.M., Garrett, K.A., Bowden, R.L., Fritz, A.K., Dendy, S.P., Heer, W.F. 2004. Cultivar mixtures for the simultaneous management of multiple diseases: tan spot and leaf rust of wheat. Phytopathology. 94:961-969.

Interpretive Summary: Tan spot and leaf rust are two important diseases of wheat. Mixtures or blends of cultivars have been shown to affect some diseases such as the rusts. The purpose of this study was to test whether tan spot and combinations of tan spot and leaf rust could be managed simultaneously with mixtures of the cultivars Jagger and 2145. The mixtures reduced both diseases relative to pure stands of the susceptibles. However, the disease reductions were greater for leaf rust than for tan spot. Yield gains in the mixtures were small in this study, but the study serves as a proof of concept for simultaneous management of multiple diseases with mixtures.

Technical Abstract: Because of differences in life histories between Puccinia triticina, a wind-dispersed pathogen with the potential for many generations, and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, a residue-borne pathogen with fewer generations, wheat mixtures are expected to be more effective at controlling leaf rust than tan spot. The objectives of this research were to determine the effect of wheat cultivar mixtures with differential resistance functions on the severity of tan spot and leaf rust, to evaluate yield of the mixtures in the presence or absence of disease, and to directly compare the relative effectiveness of cultivar mixing for tan spot vs. leaf rust. In a field experiment at two sites in Kansas over two growing seasons, winter wheat cultivars Jagger and 2145, which have differential resistance reactions to leaf rust and tan spot, were each planted in proportions of 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.00. Plots were inoculated with each pathogen alone, both pathogens, treated with a fungicide, or exposed to ambient conditions. For both diseases for all site-years, severity decreased substantially on the susceptible cultivar as the proportion of that cultivar decreased in mixture. Mixtures were significantly more effective at reducing leaf rust than tan spot in three out of four site-years. Mixtures generally yielded the same as the weighted mean of components in monoculture, though in two out of three site years at least one fungicide-treated and one diseased mixture each yielded higher than expected values. While this particular mixture produced only modest yield benefits, the potential for simultaneous reductions in tan spot and leaf rust was demonstrated.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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