G. L. Peterson, United States Department of Agriculture--Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, Fort Detrick, MD, 21702;
K. L. Kosta, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento 95814;
D. L. Glenn, USDA-ARS, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit; and
J. G. Phillips, USDA-ARS, North Atlantic Area, Wyndmoor, PA 19038
Studies were conducted in Arizona to determine the efficacy of soil solarization for killing teliospores of the soilborne fungal wheat pathogen Tilletia indica. In a replicated study conducted in each of 3 years, T. indica teliospores and bunted wheat kernels were buried in a Karnal bunt-infested wheat field at depths of 5, 10, and 20 cm. Replicate samples were removed from under a clear plastic solarization cover at 7-day intervals and the number of viable teliospores determined. A rapid decline in teliospore viability occurred at all treatment depths over 38 days, with efficacy comparable with methyl bromide protocols using clear plastic sheeting. Initial viability rates of 43, 71, and 82% germination were reduced to 0.1, 7.7, and 0.2% after 38 days (across all depths) in 2003, 2005, and 2006, respectively. Mean daily maximum soil temperatures at 5 and 20 cm under clear plastic in 2003, 2005, and 2006 were 67, 53 and 60°C and 43, 38, and 43°C, respectively. Under current United States Department of Agriculture disease management strategies, the method may be useful for the rapid deregulation of Karnal bunt-affected fields.