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Effect of crown-rust infection on yield and water requirement of oats


, : Effect of crown-rust infection on yield and water requirement of oats. Jour Agric Res 50(5): 387-411

Information is presented on (1) the relation of the total duration of crown rust (Puccinia coronata avenae) infection to reduction in yield of a susceptible oat var. growing under field conditions, (2) the relation of the total duration of crown rust infection to yield and water requirement of a susceptible pure line and a resistant one growing under greenhouse conditions, and (3) the interrelations of soil moisture and time of initial infection with yield and water requirement of 2 susceptible lines and 1 nearly immune pure line under greenhouse conditions. Under field conditions there was evident a strong positive correlation between early initial infection and reduction in yield and wt. per bu. of grain. Early infection also retarded the date of heading. Plants growing under greenhouse conditions were artificially inoculated in the seedling, boot, anthesis, and dough stages of development, and the infection maintained until maturity. Observations were made on the effect of 2 p. f.'s of the rust on the yield of grain, roots and straw, ratio of roots to straw, water consumption, and water requirement of infected and noninfected host plants. The loss in yield because of rust infection was much greater for grain and roots than for straw. Water requirement was greatly increased by rust infection. The decrease in yield of the various plant parts and increase in water requirement were in proportion to the duration and severity of infection. Heavy infection initiated on a susceptible Markton selection in the seedling and boot stages completely inhibited development of grain, while infection initiated in the dough stage had no significant effect on the yield of any plant parts or on water requirement. Infection had a greater effect on yield and water requirement of susceptible selections at high soil moistures. Lowering the soil moisture in itself significantly reduced the yield of all plant parts, although, with the exception of the resistant Bond selection, the effect was not so great as that caused by rust infection. The ratio of roots to straw was greatly decreased by rust, the decrease being in proportion to the duration and severity of infection.

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