Submitted to: Wheat Life
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/20/2012
Publication Date: 11/20/2012
Citation: Okubara, P.A., Schroeder, K., Paulitz, T.C., Chen, W. 2012. What lies beneath, unraveling the mysteries of Rhizoctonia and Pythium. Wheat Life. p. 56-59.
Technical Abstract: Washington wheat and barley growers have long recognized that the soil-borne fungal pathogens Rhizoctonia and Pythium cause root rot, stunting and poor emergence and can chip away at yield, resulting in annual losses of 10 percent or more. Since several of these Rhizoctonia and Pythium species attack crops that are grown in rotation with wheat, they are of particular concern. We identified three species of Pythium and two species of Rhizoctonia most pathogenic to wheat and barley. These Pythium and Rhizoctonia differ in preferred habitat and in the amount of damage they cause, depending on the crop plant, the pathogen populations in the soil, and environmental factors. Knowing which types of pathogens are in the soil and which are most virulent to different crop plants can help growers anticipate disease management and adjust rotations accordingly. Additional research in the areas of pathogen-suppressive soil microbes, host resistance and control of volunteer crops and weeds by herbicide application is under way.