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Management of Septoria tritici blotch using cultivar mixtures

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Septoria tritici blotch (STB) is among the most devastating diseases in European wheat production. In recent years, there has been increased interest in using cultivar mixtures as part of an integrated control strategy against diseases. This study investigated different cultivar mixtures for their ability to control STB across three years and at seven trial sites in Denmark with a range of fungicide strategies, yielding a total of 194 individual cultivar mixture combinations. The mixtures were composed of two, three, or four cultivars that were either similar or contrasting in their susceptibility to STB. Across all trials, the cultivar mixtures reduced disease severity significantly, by 14% compared with the component cultivars grown in monoculture. The reductions were larger when the disease pressure was high and when the mixtures included more cultivars. Mixtures composed of four cultivars reduced disease severity significantly, by 24%. Across all trials, cultivar mixtures significantly increased yield by 2% compared with the component cultivars grown in monoculture. The yield increase was significant for plots treated with one or two fungicide applications, and cultivar mixtures increased yield significantly, by 4.4% in untreated plots. The yield increase was smaller for mixtures with a high proportion of resistant cultivars. Based on the results from this study, cultivar mixtures can contribute positively to an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy, by reducing disease severity for STB and increasing yield. The most pronounced benefits from cultivar mixtures were found in fields with moderate to low fungicide input, under conditions with high disease pressure, when combining four cultivars with varying susceptibilities.

TidsskriftPlant Disease
Sider (fra-til)1341-1349
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - maj 2022

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