Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Barley crops affected by disease found on common wild grass

Date:
October 16, 2013
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
A major fungal pathogen which affects barley crops is also present on a common wild grass according to a new study.

A major fungal pathogen which affects barley crops is also present on a common wild grass according to a new study by leading agricultural researchers including the University of Hertfordshire.

Barley is the second most important cereal crop grown in the UK -- used as animal fodder, in human foods such as health foods, soups and stews, and also in the drinks production industry. High quality malting barley underpins beer and whisky production and is worth around £20 billion to the UK economy. However, barley is susceptible to a number of diseases, the most important of which is called leaf blotch and is caused by a fungal pathogen. This disease affects the leaves, ears and stems of the barley -- decreasing grain quality and reducing crop yields by up to forty per cent.

Bruce Fitt, professor of plant pathology at the University of Hertfordshire, said: "Crops that appear to be clear of disease can suddenly develop leaf blotch symptoms unexpectedly. The source of the disease is unclear and this has puzzled farmers and researchers alike.

"However, our research shows that the fungal pathogen that causes barley leaf blotch can be found on wild ryegrasses which are common both as weeds within cereal crop fields and in the surrounding field margins."

In the study, both DNA and plant testing showed that the leaf blotch pathogen that affects barley can be found on the wild grasses and was virulent on commonly grown varieties of barley.

Professor Fitt continued: "Field margins play an important role in creating areas of habitat to support wildlife and wild plants species. But the increasing demand for agricultural land to provide enough crops to feed and support the growing population is putting pressure on these little pockets of wild nature.

"And if this pathogen species can be spread from wild grasses onto barley crops and back again, further investigation is needed to identify how widespread this species is and also the role that wild grasses play as sources of disease for other crops such as wheat."

The paper, "Evolutionary Relationships Between Rhynchosporium lolii sp. nov. and Other Rhynchosporium Species on Grasses" is published in PLOS ON . Co-authors are Kevin King (Rothamsted Research), Jon West (Rothamsted Research), Patrick Brunner (ETH Zόrich), Paul Dyer (University of Nottingham) and Bruce Fitt (University of Hertfordshire). The research project was funded by the Perry Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kevin M. King, Jonathan S. West, Patrick C. Brunner, Paul S. Dyer, Bruce D. L. Fitt. Evolutionary Relationships between Rhynchosporium lolii sp. nov. and Other Rhynchosporium Species on Grasses. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (10): e72536 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072536

Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Barley crops affected by disease found on common wild grass." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016212607.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2013, October 16). Barley crops affected by disease found on common wild grass. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016212607.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Barley crops affected by disease found on common wild grass." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016212607.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) — A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins