In the U.S. Pacific Northwest, the most significant diseases affecting seed production of tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.] are fungal diseases, including stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis (Pers.) ssp. graminicola (Urban), and blind seed, caused by Gloeotinia temulenta (Prill & Delacr.) Wilson, Noble & Gray. Stem rust is an especially destructive foliar disease with potential for significant yield reductions. Blind seed is a disease of the developing seed, characterized by low seed germination. Other important fungal diseases but generally less destructive than rust or blind seed include Fusarium head blight, caused by Fusarium species; ergot, caused by Claviceps purpurea (Fr.:Fr.) Tul.; and leaf spotting diseases, caused by species of Cercosporidium, Dreschlera, Rhynchosporium, and Septoria. In addition, damage to seed stalks from insects or fungi can result in death and subsequent bleached or silvery-white appearance of the seed heads, a condition commonly referred to as silver top. Disease control recommendations, including registered fungicides and application rates, for specific diseases in the Pacific Northwest are available at http://plant-disease.ippc.orst.edu (verified 10 Jan. 2010). Although many other pathogens can infect tall fescue, they have not been found to be troublesome in tall fescue seed production in the Pacific Northwest.

Keywords: stem rust, blind seed, Fusarium head blight, Puccinia graminis subsp. graminicola, Gloeotinia temulenta, Claviceps purpurea, Dreschlera, Rhynchosporium, Septoria, Cercosporidium.


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Table of Contents

Tall Fescue Monograph

See Related Information In:

Chapter 19: Traits of Interest in Tall Fescue Breeding

Chapter 22: Transgenic Tall Fescue with Value-Added Traits