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Population dynamics of Rhizoctonia, Oculimacula, and Microdochium species in soil, roots, and stems of English wheat crops

Brown, Matthew; Woodhall, James W.; Nielsen, Linda K.; Tomlinson, Daniel; Farooqi, Arifa; Ray, Rumiana V.

Population dynamics of Rhizoctonia, Oculimacula, and Microdochium species in soil, roots, and stems of English wheat crops Thumbnail


Matthew Brown

James W. Woodhall

Linda K. Nielsen

Daniel Tomlinson

Arifa Farooqi

Professor of Plant Pathology


© 2020 The Authors. Plant Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Society for Plant Pathology This study aimed to elucidate the population dynamics of Rhizoctonia, Oculimacula, and Microdochium species, causing the stem base disease complex of sharp eyespot, eyespot, and brown foot rot in cereals. Pathogen DNA in soil, roots, and stem fractions, and disease expression were quantified in 102 English wheat fields in two seasons. Weather data for each site was collected to determine patterns that correlate with assessed diseases. Oculimacula spp. (66%) and R. solani AG 2-1 (63%) were most frequently detected in soil, followed by R. cerealis (54%) and Microdochium spp. (33%). Oculimacula spp. (89%) and R. cerealis (56%) predominated on roots and soil but were not associated with root rot symptoms, suggesting that these species used soil and roots for survival and as inoculum source. M. nivale was more frequently detected than M. majus on stems up to GS 21–30 and co-occurred on plant samples with O. acuformis. O. yallundae had higher DNA concentration than O. acuformis at the lower 5cm basal region at GS 37–45. R. cerealis predominated in the upper 15cm above the base beyond stem extension. Brown foot rot by Microdochium spp. was favoured by cool and wet autumns/winters and dominated in English wheat. Eyespot and sharp eyespot disease index by Oculimacula spp. and R. cerealis, respectively, correlated with wet/humid springs and summers. Results suggested that stem base pathogens generally coexisted; however, their abundance in time and space was influenced by favourable weather patterns and host development, with niche differentiation after stem extension.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 12, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 20, 2020
Publication Date 2021-05
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2021
Journal Plant Pathology
Print ISSN 0032-0862
Electronic ISSN 1365-3059
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Issue 4
Pages 862-874
Keywords Agronomy and Crop Science; Plant Science; Genetics; Horticulture
Public URL
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