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Science News from the Prairies
2020 Issue #10
Cereal disease research at AAFC: The importance of monitoring
Dr. Kelly Turkington, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada plant pathology research scientist (Lacombe Research and Development Centre) and Chair of the Prairie Recommending Committee for Oat and Barley, is among the many AAFC researchers working on initiatives to improve plant health on the Prairies, including identifying cereal disease races, assessing crop variety disease tolerance/resistance, and developing integrated pest and crop management strategies.
For most cereal disease issues, effective management relies on accurate and timely information related to disease risk. For example, cereal rust spores are easily carried on the wind over large distances. Funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Crop Agronomy Cluster, Turkington, with colleagues at AAFC (Ross Weiss and Meghan Vankosky; AAFC-Saskatoon Research and Development Centre) and Environment and Climate Change Canada, analyze the frequency and wind trajectory paths to determine the risk of rust spore dispersal from the central USA and Pacific Northwest to the Canadian Prairies. The results are provided as weekly updates during the growing season on the Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network blog. This timely cereal rust risk information allows Prairie producers and agrologists to target key regions where critical in-crop scouting is urgently required to assess the need for fungicide application.
Under the CAP National Barley Cluster, Turkington along with technicians Noryne Rauhala and Jackie Busaan evaluate breeding lines and germplasm from Prairie barley breeding programs for resistance to key barley leaf diseases including scald, net blotch and spot blotch. Improvements in the disease resistance packages of Canadian barley varieties leads to more sustainable and effective leaf disease management, while avoiding the need for in-crop fungicide applications. Turkington, with other Prairie barley pathologists, is also leading a companion National Barley Cluster looking at barley pathogen variation. This work is critical in terms of making sure that breeders and pathologists are targeting key disease issues, while ensuring that breeding material is being evaluated against the most representative pathotypes including more virulent pathogen isolates.
In 2020 Interview with Grainews, Turkington addressed some common cereal pathogens on the Prairies, including leaf spots, rusts, fusarium head blight and root rots. These disease vary depending on province, region, cropping history, and weather conditions. According to Turkington, “Knowing what’s happening in your field and the nature of the pathogens you are trying to manage gives you valuable information about the need and type of an in-crop [pesticide] application, while also having implications for future crop planning and cereal variety choice.”
For more information on cereal diseases impacting the Prairie region, check out the series of disease guides and recommended disease survey protocols that Turkington and Kathleen McHugh developed for the Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network (funded as part of the CAP Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster).
Read more about Dr. Turkington's research, please explore the publications below:
Movement of Plasmodiophora brassicae resting spores in windblown dust (2015)
Fungicide and herbicide effects on disease and yield:
The impact of fungicide and herbicide timing on foliar disease severity, and barley productivity and quality (2015)
Winter wheat yields are increased by seed treatment and fall-applied fungicide (2016)
Fusarium head blight:
Diversity of Fusarium head blight populations and trichothecene toxin types reveals regional differences in pathogen composition and temporal dynamics (2015)
Genetic structure of Pyrenophora teres f. teres and P. teres f. maculate populations from western Canada (2016)
Prevalence of mating type idiomorphs in Pyrenophora teres f. teres and P. teres f. maculata populations from the Canadian prairies (2015)
Sensitivity of western Canadian Pyrenophora teres f. teres and P. teres f. maculataisolates to propiconazole and pyraclostrobin (2017)
Spot Form of Net Blotch Resistance in a Diverse Set of Barley Lines in Australia and Canada (2012)
Virulence of Pyrenophora teres populations in western Canada (2016)
Field Screening is Effective for Identifying Genetic Resistance to Scald of Barley (2019)
Yield responses in spring wheat and barley cultivars, varying in stripe rust resistance in central Alberta (2019)
Race characterization of Pyrenophora tritici-repentis and sensitivity to propiconazole and pyraclostrobin fungicides (2017)
Race structure of Pyrenophora triciti-repentis (tan spot of wheat) in Alberta, Canada (2013)
Publications from AAFC scientists in the Prairie Region (available in English only)
Rotational benefit of pulse crop with no-till increase over time in a semiarid climate
Enhancement of total lipid production in vegetative tissues of alfalfa and sainfoin using chemical mutagenesis
Soil N intensity as a measure to estimate annual N2O and NO fluxes from natural and managed ecosystems
Tillage and cropping effects on soil organic carbon: Biodegradation and storage in density and size fractions
Wireworm (Coleoptera: Elateridae) genomic analysis reveals putative cryptic species, population structure, and adaptation to pest control
Effect of collection month, visible light, and air movement on the attraction of male Agriotes obscurus L. (Coleoptera: Elateridae) click beetles to female sex pheromone
Resistance to pyridaben in Canadian greenhouse populations of two-spotted spider mites,Tetranychus urticae (Koch)
Grazing diverse combinations of tanniferous and non-tanniferous legumes: Implications for beef cattle performance and environmental impact
Lactation performance and milk fatty acid composition of lactating dairy cows fed Camelina sativa seeds or expeller
Oilseed - Carinata
Narrow genetic base shapes population structure and linkage disequilibrium in an industrial oilseed crop, Brassica carinata A. Braun
First report on the pathotype diversity of Phytophthora sojae in Manitoba, Canada
Historic recombination in a durum wheat breeding panel enables high-resolution mapping of Fusarium head blight resistance quantitative trait loci
Effect of water soluble humic acid applied to potato foliage on plant growth, photosynthesis characteristics and fresh tuber yield under different water deficits 10(1).
Remote imagery analysis
Application of google earth engine cloud computing platform, sentinel imagery, and neural networks for crop mapping in Canada
C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery for the classification of diverse cropping systems
Characterizing spatiotemporal patterns of crop phenology across North America during 2000–2016 using satellite imagery and agricultural survey data
Fungal Communities of the Canola Rhizosphere: Keystone Species and Substantial Between-Year Variation of the Rhizosphere Microbiome
The chemical nature of soil phosphorus in response to long-term fertilization practices: Implications for sustainable phosphorus management
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