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Title: Pythium species causing damping-off of alfalfa in Minnesota: Identification, pathogenicity and fungicide sensitivity

item BERG, LAURINE - University Of Minnesota
item RADMER, LORIEN - University Of Minnesota
item Samac, Deborah - Debby

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/16/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Damping-off and seed rot is an important disease of alfalfa, severely affecting stand establishment when conditions favor the disease. Globally, 15 Pythium species are reported to cause damping-off and seed rot of alfalfa, although surveys of species causing disease on alfalfa in Minnesota are lacking. Eight species were isolated by a seedling baiting technique from soil of five alfalfa fields in Minnesota with high levels of damping-off. Three species, P. sylvaticum, P. irregular, and P. ultimum var. ultimum, were highly pathogenic on germinating alfalfa seedlings at 21°C. Strains of seven species causing disease on corn and soybean, P. irregulare, P. intermedium, P. sylvaticum, P. recalcitrans, P. conidiophorum, P. ultimum var. sporangiiferum, and P. ultimum var. ultimum, were pathogenic on alfalfa. Assays with Apron XL (mefanoxam) treated seed showed that fungicide sensitivity varied between and with species with approximately 56% of strains insensitive. In Apron XL amended medium hyphal density was reduced but all strains had a similar growth rate as on non-amended medium. Insensitivity to Stamina seed treatments (pyraclostrobin) occurred in 94% of strains tested. The presence of broad host range pathogens and fungicide resistance suggests that crop rotation and seed treatments will not be effective tools for managing this disease. These results indicate that resistant cultivars are needed for managing damping-off in alfalfa production systems.