Foot Rot

Pathogen

Cochliobolus sativus (Drechslera sorokiniana)

Hosts

The disease affects all cereals.

Symptoms

The fungus causes disease symptoms similar to Fusarium spp.Seedborne infection can result in seedling death although infected plants usually grow to maturity. Affected plants show brown spotting on the lower leaves and, if severely affected, can show stembase rotting and poorly filled ears. This severe symptom is very rare in the UK.

Life Cycle

Foot_Rot-life-cycle.jpg

The fungus behaves very much like Fusarium spp. in its survival and life history. It is both soil and seedborne. It infects seedlings as they emerge, occasionally producing a seedling blight. More usually it infects roots of seedlings, allowing the plant to survive. Leaf spotting and stem-base infections produce splash-borne spores which can be carried to emerging ears resulting in seed infection.

Importance

Foot rot due to C. sativus is traditionally a disease of hotter climates than that of the UK.

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