University of California Cooperative Extension, Salinas 93901
Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616
University of California Cooperative Extension, Bakersfield 93307
Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 95616
In 1998, a devastating outbreak of rust disease severely damaged the garlic crop in California, resulting in yield losses of 51% and an economic loss of 27% to the industry. The disease also occurred in 1999 and 2000, indicating that rust may have become an annual problem in some parts of the state. The presence of urediniospores, two-celled teliospores, and telial paraphyses indicated that the pathogen was Puccinia allii. Isolates from garlic infected onion and chives, but not leek, elephant garlic, or shallot in inoculation experiments. Garlic cloves obtained from diseased plants were planted under controlled conditions, but the resulting plants did not develop rust. Fungicide trials were conducted for 3 years and showed that none of the currently registered materials gave satisfactory control. However, tebuconazole and azoxystrobin provided good protection against rust if sprayed at 10-day intervals. A variety trial of 34 garlic cultivars and selections was planted, inoculated, and evaluated for resistance to rust. Although there was variability in rust severity among the selections, acceptable levels of resistance were not observed in any cultivar.