By Nigel D. Cattlin
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Extra resources for Diseases of Small Grain Cereal Crops: A Colour Handbook
Occasionally, mild chlorosis can be seen in affected tissues, particularly at the beginning of natural leaf senescence, but the pathogen does not usually kill its host. Towards the end of the season, brown–black sexually produced spore cases (cleistothecia) may be found embedded in mildew pustules (40). 33 33. Powdery mildew developing on the lower leaves of a maturing wheat crop. MILDEW 34 34. Severe powdery mildew infection and distorted wheat ears. 36 36. Powdery mildew pustules on wheat ears.
Economic importance Crop damage is related to cultivar susceptibility, soil moisture and temperature in the autumn, and date of sowing. In general, earlier sowing in the autumn results in greater disease. Loss in grain yield results from fewer tillers per plant plant, decreased kernel weight, and test weight (speciﬁc weight). Losses due to rosette can be complete; however, this extreme form of the disease occurs in relatively few cultivars. Average losses due to mosaic range from insigniﬁcant to 20%.
Powdery mildew tends to be severe in lush, over-fertilized, early sown winter cereal crops. harbour inoculum over winter, together with disposal of crop debris, which may be infected with cleistothecia. Avoiding very early sowing and excess nitrogen fertilizer applications will also help to reduce disease. Disease resistance is important in all cereals. Much of the resistance, however, is major gene and as such can break down as a result of a shift in virulence in pathogen populations. Field-by-ﬁeld diversiﬁcation of varieties or mixtures of appropriate varieties within ﬁelds may slow down disease epidemics.
Diseases of Small Grain Cereal Crops: A Colour Handbook by Nigel D. Cattlin
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