Previous View
APSnet Home
Phytopathology Home


Ecology and Epidemiology

Effects of Common Root Rot on Discoloration and Growth of the Spring Wheat Root System. E. G. Kokko, Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 3000, Main, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1; R. L. Conner, G. C. Kozub, and B. Lee. Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, P.O. Box 3000, Main, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1. Phytopathology 85:203-208. Accepted for publication 16 November 1994. Copyright 1995 Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Government of Canada. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-85-203.

Image analysis procedures were used to quantify the effect of common root rot on the growth and discoloration of the subcrown internode (SCI), crown roots, and seminal roots of spring wheat. Severe discoloration of the SCI was associated with diminished growth of the seminal and crown roots. The linkage of discoloration of the SCI to a reduction in root growth was most evident for the crown roots. Reduced growth of either the crown or seminal roots was not compensated for by increased growth of the other root system. The differences in root discoloration among different root rot categories were generally small. On average, the crown and seminal roots were whiter than the SCI in the healthy (nil) category. There was a weak negative relationship between discoloration of the SCI and the crown and seminal root systems. However, it was also observed that root discoloration usually increased with greater root length. Since plants with healthy SCIs usually had longer roots, they were more likely to be exposed to the pathogen and become discolored than were plants with severely diseased SCIs. The image analysis procedures developed in this study can be used to objectively and precisely measure damage caused by root diseases in other host species. This procedure validates the most commonly used field research method of rating plants for common root rot.

Additional keywords: Cochliobolus sativus, Triticum aestivum.