DOI: 10.1111/ppa.13843 ISSN: 0032-0862

Fusarium pseudograminearum infected wheat lines vary in disease severity and gas exchange response under different watering regimes

Rian R. Abdulsada, Michael Thompson, Lucas Peitton, Alison Kelly, Cassandra D. Percy
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


Crown rot (CR; Fusarium pseudograminearum) is a serious disease in winter cereals. Soil type, temperature, nutrients, water availability and stubble‐borne inoculum levels play major roles in determining disease severity. This paper reports the impact of two different watering regimes on the disease severity and gas exchange of F. pseudograminearum infected bread wheat for the first time. Fusarium pseudograminearum inoculated and noninoculated genotypes with different susceptibility to CR were watered to either field capacity or a reduced watering regime in three controlled environment experiments. Rate of photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, internal CO2 concentration and transpiration rate were measured using a portable photosynthesis system, together with disease severity of leaf sheaths at 28 days after planting. Significant differences in disease severity were reported between watering treatments with reduction in CR symptoms in the partially resistant genotypes in the reduced water treatment. Photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate were significantly decreased across most genotypes when inoculated with F. pseudograminearum. Differences in gas exchange between inoculum treatments were more evident in plants watered to field capacity. Water availability has been reported to be one of the crucial factors for initiating F. pseudograminearum infection and subsequent development of CR disease. This research demonstrates significant variation in genotype‐related responses to the complex interactions of F. pseudograminearum infection and water treatment, with a negative impact of both limited soil water availability and CR disease severity on plant gas exchange in bread wheat.

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