Type: Chapter

Diseases affecting wheat: wheat blast

Author J. L. N. Maciel

Embrapa Wheat, Brazil

Publication date:

22 October 2018

ID: 9781838797409

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This chapter describes the characteristics, origin and spread of the causative agents of wheat blast, based on the experience of managing this disease in Brazil (where the first wheat blast epidemic was reported, in 1985, which still causes great losses). Although many aspects of the disease’s occurrence and control remain unknown, some advances have been made. It has been proposed that the origin of wheat blast was through the clonal propagation of an epidemic lineage of Pyricularia oryzae, derived from populations of the fungus growing on an unknown species within the family Poaceae. Recently, it was reported that wheat blast is caused two fungal species, Pyricularia oryzae, patothype Triticum, and a new species that has been described as Pyricularia graminis-tritici. Assays conducted under controlled conditions showed that Pyricularia graminis-tritici isolates were more virulent to Brachiaria (Urochloa sp., ex Brachiaria sp.; a pasture species common to Brazil) than many isolates of Pyricularia oryzae, pathotype Triticum. In addition, it has been determined that insensitivity to strobilurin fungicides is completely distributed in the Brazilian population of the causative agents of wheat blast.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Symptoms and conditions for wheat blast development
3 Origin of wheat blast
4 Reproductive biology of Magnaporthe oryzae
5 The new causal agent of wheat blast: Pyricularia graminis-tritici
6 Alternatives for survival of the causal agent
7 Genetic control
8 Chemical control
9 Conclusion and future trends
10 References