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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #362102

Research Project: Enhanced Alfalfa Germplasm and Genomic Resources for Yield, Quality, and Environmental Protection

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Strategies for reducing seed rot and seedling damping-off of alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

item Samac, Deborah - Debby
item Dornbusch, Melinda - Mindy
item AO, SAMADANGLA - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2019
Publication Date: 8/3/2019
Citation: Samac, D.A., Dornbusch, M.R., Ao, S. 2019. Strategies for reducing seed rot and seedling damping-off of alfalfa (Medicago sativa). American Phytopathological Society: Plant Health 2019. August 3-7, 2019, Cleveland, Ohio.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Alfalfa seeds are often planted when conditions are ideal for infection by seed rot and damping-off (SRDO) pathogens. Treatment of seed with ApronXL (mefanoxam) does not control all SRDO pathogens and does not protect older plants from root rot caused by these pathogens. The EC50 values of eight commercial fungicides registered for use on soybean seeds was determined for SRDO pathogens Pythium sylvaticum, P. ultimum var. ultimum, P. paroecandrum, Aphanomyces euteiches, Phytophthora medicaginis, Fusarium oxysporum, F. verticillioides, and F. incarnatum-equiseti, using agar plate-based assays. Evergol Energy (metalaxyl, penflufen and prothioconazole) had the widest activity against the SRDO pathogens. Fungicides with metalaxyl and ipconazole had low EC50 values for all pathogens except A. euteiches. Ethaboxam had low EC50 values for all pathogens except Fusarium species. The strobilurin fungicides had moderate to high EC50 values for all pathogens. Most diseases of alfalfa are managed using resistant cultivars. Selection for resistance to three Pythium strains was done using an agar plate assay. Seedlings with moderate levels of resistance were rescued from the plates and adult plants used for intercrossing. One or two cycles of selection resulted in >50% resistant plants in the three germplasm sources used. Fungicide seed treatments in combination with resistance to pathogens would provide effective disease control for seedlings and adult plants.