Leaf yellowing of the wheat cultivar Mace in the absence of yellowspot disease
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The wheat variety Mace is currently dominating the southern wheat growing regions of Australia. It is high yielding in most environments and resistant to many diseases including yellow spot (also known as tan spot). However, observations of foliar yellowing of Mace have recently been reported in the field. This has raised concerns over a possible breakdown of resistance to yellow spot, which is caused by the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Pyrenophora triticirepentis. West Australian field samples of yellowing Mace leaves were evaluated for P. triticirepentis infection, and this pathogen was determined to be absent. Instead, Alternaria spp. were isolated from the wheat leaves. Pathogenicity assays showed that the recovered Alternaria spp. were unable to cause disease symptoms on Mace. Furthermore, spontaneous foliar lesions were observed in Mace grown in the absence of pathogens. It is therefore likely that such yellowing is a physiological trait, which will not respond to fungicide application. A marginal impact on yield cannot be excluded.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://doi.org/10.1007/s13313-014-0335-2
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