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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 204-213

Impact of cereal rotation strategies on soil inoculum concentrations and wheat take-all

R.F. van Toor, S.L. Bithell, S.F. Chng, A. McKay and M.G. Cromey

ABSTRACT

The fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (Ggt) causes take-all in cereals and survives saprophytically on crop debris during the intercrop period. Commercial wheat fields with different crop rotations on 10 farms in the South Island of New Zealand were monitored over 6 years for changes in Ggt inoculum concentrations and take-all severity. Take-all severity in wheat varied greatly among crop rotations across the farms, with aboveground symptoms seldom visible on some farms and common on others. Take-all severity was reduced by maintaining a low frequency of host crops in the rotation. Ggt was detected in soil from all farms. Soil inoculum concentrations were reduced proportional to the length of non-host break crops. While barley, triticale and rye are less susceptible than wheat to take-all, they can lead to high post-harvest inoculum concentrations.

Keywords: soil-borne disease, cereals, Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici, crop rotation.

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