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Seedborne Infection of Rice by Pyricularia oryzae and Its Transmission to Seedlings

October 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  10
Pages  1,093 - 1,099

H. K. Manandhar , Plant Pathology Division, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, P.O. Box 1126, Khumaltar, Lalitpur, Nepal ; H. J. Lyngs Jorgensen , V. Smedegaard-Petersen , Plant Pathology Section, Department of Plant Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871, Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark ; and S. B. Mathur , Danish Government Institute of Seed Pathology for Developing Countries, Ryvangs Allé 78, DK-2900, Hellerup, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Accepted for publication 15 June 1998.

Seedborne infection of rice by Pyricularia oryzae and its transmission to seedlings were studied quantitatively with naturally infected seeds of three rice cultivars collected from three locations in Nepal. A linear relationship on a logistic scale was found between panicle symptoms and seed infection, i.e., the more symptoms the higher seed infection. However, healthy-looking panicles and branches of panicles could also yield infected seeds. Postharvest measures such as winnowing and sun-drying significantly reduced seed infection by P. oryzae and filled grains had a lower degree of infection than unfilled grains. Sporulation of P. oryzae was most often confined to the embryonal end of germinating seeds. In contrast, most of the nongerminating seeds had sporulation all over the seed surface. Transmission of P. oryzae from seeds to seedlings, studied under various seeding conditions, showed that the transmission rate was always low. Thus, a seed sample with 21% seed infection resulted in less than 4% seedlings with blast lesions. Seed transmission was found for light covering of the seeds with soil or for moist seeding without covering. Transmission was rarely found when seeds were completely covered, and never in seedlings raised under water seeding conditions. Lower infection frequency was observed in seedlings raised in unsterilized soil than in seedlings raised in sterilized soil. Also, percent recovery of P. oryzae from infected seeds was higher in sterilized soil than in unsterilized soil and declined with time. Seedlings grown under low temperature (15 to 20°C) conditions did not develop blast lesions but when the same plants were transferred to high temperature (25 to 30°C) conditions, blast lesions were detected. This confirmed the latent infection in seedlings by P. oryzae grown under low temperature conditions.

rice blast

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society