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 September 29, 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 September 29, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) — The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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