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Field Assessment of a Model for Fungicide Effects on Intraplant Spread of Stem Rust in Perennial Ryegrass Seed Crops

June 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  6
Pages  696 - 703

W. F. Pfender and J. Eynard

U.S. Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service, National Forage Seed Production Research Center and Oregon State University Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, 3450 SW Campus Way, Corvallis 97331.

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Accepted for publication 23 January 2009.

Intraplant spread of stem rust (Puccinia graminis subsp. graminicola) in perennial ryegrass during tiller extension is a major determinant of epidemic severity and is dominated by stem extension dynamics. Simple equations for extension of inflorescence and internodes are presented and parameterized. These equations are combined with previously published equations for pathogen latent period and for postinfection efficacy of fungicides to produce a model for effects of fungicide type and timing on intraplant spread. The model is driven by thermal units, calculated from air temperature measurements. Three field experiments, conducted independently from the field experiments that provided data for plant growth model parameterization, were conducted to assess performance of the disease spread model. Either propiconazole or azoxystrobin, the two most commonly used fungicides for stem rust control, was applied to tillers that had stem rust pustules on the flag sheath and in which the inflorescence was partially extended. Intraplant spread of disease to the extending inflorescence (stem and flowerhead) was observed at several dates following treatment and compared with modeled severities. The model estimated accurately the severities of inflorescence infection for most treatments and observation times, with a correlation coefficient of 0.93 for modeled versus observed disease severities across the three experiments. The model correctly estimated the rank order of final severities among the treatments (fungicide type and timing). The model can be extended to intraplant spread of stem rust at all internodes and incorporated into decision support tools for fungicide type and timing in management of this disease.

Additional keywords:disease management.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2009