The impact of Fusarium avenaceum on lupin production on the Canadian prairies.

Hwang, S.F., Chang, K.F., Strelkov, S.E., Gossen, B.D., and Howard, R.J. (2014). "The impact of Fusarium avenaceum on lupin production on the Canadian prairies.", Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 36(3), pp. 291-299. doi : 10.1080/07060661.2014.925507  Access to full text

Abstract

Narrow-leaved lupin has the potential to become an important pulse crop for the Canadian Prairies because of its high protein content and its climatic adaptation. However, cultivation in the region is constrained by seedling blight and root rot caused by Fusarium avenaceum, an endemic fungal pathogen that reduces seedling establishment and crop yield. This pathogen attacks a broad range of crop and non-crop plants in the region. It varies in colony morphology, in the aggressiveness of individual isolates toward different crops, and in genetic makeup. However, genetically and phenotypically similar isolates can occur over a broad geographic range and diverse isolates can be found in the same field. Despite this diversity, the sexual stage has been observed only rarely in nature. The deleterious effects of the pathogen can be mitigated by optimizing seeding depth. Temperatures that are near optimum for plant growth also reduced the effect of the pathogen, but few studies showed a consistent relationship between seeding date and damage by the pathogen. Fungicidal seed treatments have been shown to reduce the incidence of seedling blight. Although there is some variation in resistance to the pathogen, no completely resistant cultivars have been found under western Canadian conditions. Development of management strategies to mitigate the effects of fusarium seedling blight and root rot on lupin crops will make cultivation of this crop a much more attractive option for western Canadian producers.

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