Mycosphaerella blight is the most common disease of field peas in western Canada and is also prevalent on processing peas. In the field, stem symptoms are difficult to distinguish from those of ascochyta foot rot, so the two diseases are treated toge...
Mycosphaerella blight can produce yield losses of more than 30% in field peas and 50% in processing peas. The pathogens attack leaves, stems, flowers and pods:
Some field pea cultivars appear to be tolerant to Mycosphaerella blight, but high levels of resistance have not been found. Loss can be reduced by crop rotation and by using disease-free seed. Other management practices include:
Mycosphaerella blight is the most common disease of field peas in western Canada and is also prevalent on processing peas. In the field, stem symptoms are difficult to distinguish from those of ascochyta foot rot, so the two diseases are treated together. Severe epidemics develop under cool, wet conditions.
Fungi can survive for several years in seed or as resting spores in soil. Infection occurs when the emerging seedling comes in contact with resting spores, or the pathogen grows from the seed into the stem. Infested crop residue is the most important source of inoculum. In spring, spores are produced on residue on the soil surface. They may be carried over long distances by wind, and can infect all above-ground parts of plants. Spores are also produced during the growing season on diseased leaves and on the lower stem.
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