Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG) 2-1 is an ubiquitous soil-borne pathogen causing severe damping-off of oilseed rape (OSR). In the absence of varietal resistance to AG2-1 there are limited methods for integrated disease management. The objectives of these field studies were to quantify yield losses due to AG2-1, and to determine the effectiveness of integrated control using sedaxane, fludioxonil and metalaxyl-M applied as seed treatment on two OSR genotypes at sowing rate of 40 (low) or 80 (high) seeds m-2. Crop assessments of green area index (GAI), vigor and cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) Psylliodes chrysocephala damage were carried out at GS16, whilst pathogen DNA in soil was quantified using real-time PCR at GS32. Yield and seed weight losses of 41% and 18%, respectively, were associated with reduced establishment, GAI, vigor, and delayed development and flowering of OSR. Seed treatment reduced AG2-1 DNA in soil by 80% resulting in a 94%, 16% and 64% increase of establishment, TSW and yield, respectively. Seed treatment also mitigated the effects of AG2-1 on delaying plant development resulting in increased uniformity of crop flowering. OSR plants infected with AG2-1 suffered 27% more damage by the CSFB indicating positive pathogen-pest interaction at the expense of the OSR host. Optimum control of AG2-1 infection was achieved by integrating low sowing rate and seed treatment. However, under dual pest and pathogen attack, high sowing rates should be combined with the use of seed treatment to mitigate seedling death and delayed development caused by AG2-1 and CSFB damage.
Jayaweera, D., & Ray, R. V. (in press). Yield loss and integrated disease control of Rhizoctonia solani AG2-1 using seed treatment and sowing rate of oilseed rape. Plant Disease, https://doi.org/10.1094/pdis-08-22-1817-re