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Phytopathology. 2004 Jul;94(7):712-21. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2004.94.7.712.

Wheat Leaf Rust Uredospore Production on Adult Plants: Influence of Leaf Nitrogen Content and Septoria tritici Blotch.


ABSTRACT Leaf rust uredospore production and lesion size were measured on flag leaves of adult wheat plants in a glasshouse for different lesion densities. We estimated the spore weight produced per square centimeter of infected leaf, per lesion, and per unit of sporulating area. Three levels of fertilization were applied to the plants to obtain different nitrogen content for the inoculated leaves. In a fourth treatment, we evaluated the effect of Septoria tritici blotch on leaf rust uredospore production. The nitrogen and carbon content of the spores was unaffected or marginally affected by lesion density, host leaf nitrogen content, or the presence of Mycosphaerella graminicola on the same leaf. In leaves with a low-nitrogen content, spore production per lesion was reduced, but lesion size was unaffected. A threshold effect of leaf nitrogen content in spore production was however, evident, since production was similar in the medium- and high-fertilizer treatments. In leaves inoculated with M. graminicola and Puccinia triticina, the rust lesions were smaller and produced fewer spores. The relationships among rust lesion density, lesion size, and uredospore production were fitted to a model. We determined that the density effect on spore production resulted mainly from a reduction in lesion size, the spore production per unit of sporulating surface being largely independent of lesion density. These results are consistent with those obtained previously on wheat seedlings. The main difference was that the sporulation period lasted longer in adult leaves.

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