Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 97
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PLANT DISEASE INVESTIGATIONS 97
time that there is fusion between secondary sporidia (spores) in culture.
Unique relationships were exhibited in matings between primary
and secondary sporidia. In some case monosporidial lines of
opposite sex, as indicated by fusion between secondary sporidia, were
not completely opposite in their relationships with primary sporidia,
as shown by fusion between primary and secondary sporidia. It was
also found that the host range and different degrees of virulence of
a particular host are not necessarily measures of heterozygosity or
homozygosity in races of this species. A homozygous condition was
found in one race having a wide host range. On the other hand, a
race with a narrow host range and low degree of virulence on one
variety was found to be heterozygous for pathogenicity. This study
emphasizes the complexity of the smut problem and supports earlier
speculation on the potential instability of chlamydospore populations
designated as races.
Oat soil fungus inhibits cereal seedling blight
Plant pathologists at the Ohio station have come up with another
example of nature's checks and balances in demonstrating that certain
fungi in oat soils reduce seedling blight in corn subsequently
planted in oat soil. They have established that Aspergillus, a fungus
occurring in oat soil, is antibiotic to a cereal blight organism that retards
growth of corn and wheat. When molds from oat soil were
mixed with a seedling blight fungus in sterile soil, seedling blight
of corn was reduced from 89 percent to 8 percent. Seedling blight
of wheat was half as prevalent in oat soil as it was in either corn
or wheat soil. With corn grown on oat soil, a third less of the plants
were infected with the blight organisms than was true when corn was
seeded in corn or wheat soil. Corn plants in oat soil were more
vigorous, taller, and had healthier, more abundant roots than corn
grown on wheat or corn soil.
Root rot of barley
Root rot is rapidly becoming a limiting factor in the successful
production of barley in South Dakota and in other States that raise
this crop. Heretofore, barley varieties or strains that possessed resistance
to any appreciable degree to common root rot were not known.
The South Dakota station (coop. USDA) tested several thousand
varieties of barley which had been collected throughout the world.
In 1952 certain of these varieties and lines were planted in Tripp,
Douglas, and Brookings counties. The data obtained from Tripp
County, where root rot is more severe, indicated that a number of
barleys possessed high resistance to the root rot complex. As a group,
those obtained from Manchuria seemed to stand out in this respect.
Leaf area affects stalk rot in corn
It has been known that loss of leaf area increases the susceptibility
of corn plants to damage by diplodia stalk rot. A similar effect has
now been demonstrated by the Illinois station for Gibberella zeae
stalk rot. Reducing the leaf area by clipping brought about premature
death of plants and stalk breaking, the increase in susceptibility
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/99/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.