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Simultaneous Temporal Progress of Sorghum Anthracnose and Leaf Blight in Crop Mixtures with Disparate Patterns

August 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  8
Pages  720 - 729

H. K. Ngugi , S. B. King , J. Holt , and A. M. Julian

First author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602; second author: 1448 Hampton Circle, Goshen, IN 46526; and third and fourth authors: Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, U.K.

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Accepted for publication 8 May 2001.

Field studies were conducted at Alupe in western Kenya in 1995 and 1996 to evaluate the efficacy of crop and species mixtures for the management of sorghum anthracnose (caused by Colletotrichum sublineolum) and leaf blight (caused by Exserohilum turcicum). The progress of these diseases developing simultaneously on a susceptible sorghum cultivar planted in inter- or intra-row mixtures of varying proportions with either maize or resistant sorghum was monitored. The effects of host type and mixture patterns on disease progress were compared by parameter estimates derived from fitted Lotka-Volterra competition equations and nonlinear logistic models. Competition coefficients were not significant and their confidence intervals included zero in most cases, suggesting that interactions between C. sublineolum and E. turcicum did not occur. Mixtures of the susceptible sorghum with either the nonhost maize or the resistant sorghum delayed the time when disease is first observed and reduced the rate of disease progress and carrying capacity for both anthracnose and leaf blight, with a more pronounced effect on the latter disease. The lower efficacy of mixtures in reducing anthracnose was attributed to an aggregated spatial pattern, coupled with higher rates of progress for this disease. Intra-row mixtures were more efficient than inter-row mixtures in reducing disease development in all years. The implications of these observations for the management of sorghum diseases under small-scale farming systems are discussed.

Additional keywords: Colletotrichum graminicola , competition , Sorghum bicolo.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society