Parastagonospora nodorum

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Parastagonospora nodorum - A, C) ascomata and conidiomata forming in culture, B, D, F) asci with ascospores, E, G) conidia, scale bars = 10 μm (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): W. Quaedvlieg, G.J.M. Verkley, H.-D. Shin, R.W. Barreto, A.C. Alfenas, W.J. Swart, J.Z. Groenewald and P.W. Crous
Source: Studies in Mycology, 2013, 75, p. 363

Parastagonospora nodorum (Berkeley 1845) W. Quaedvlieg, G.J.M. Verkley & P.W. Crous 2013

This fungus is widespread causing Septoria nodorum blotch, an important wheat disease. Yield losses of 20-30% have been estimated in some years. Other cereals and grasses can also become infected. Elongated lesions without distinct borders develop on wheat leaves. They later contain small black pycnidia. When the ears develop, greyish and brownish areas appear on the glumes and the awns. The kernels of infected ears are small and shriveled.

The fungus is heterothallic and ascospores are an important part of its life cycle. Infected seeds and ascospores produced on straw residue left in the field between growing seasons are considered important for starting an epidemic. The ascospores are airborne and can disperse by rain splashes or through the wind over long distances. After a plant is infected, pycnidiospores are produced asexually and disperse through rain splashes to infect nearby wheat plants.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Braunspelzigkeit des Weizen
• English: Septoria nodorum blotch
Stagonospora nodorum blotch
glume blotch of wheat
• Español: septoriosis de las espigas del trigo
• Français: tache des glumes du blé

Crop rotation is recommended as main management strategy. The use of fungicides may be profitable if wheat is grown continuously in the same field. Some progress has been also made on developing resistant cultivars.

Pycnidia are dark brown to black, spherical and around 100-200 µm in diameter. Pycnidiospores are elliptical or cylindrical, 1-3 septate and 15-30 x 2-4 µm large. Pseudothecia are light buff in colour and around 200 µm in diameter. Ascospores are spindle-shaped, approximately 20 x 4 µm large.

Leptosphaeria nodorum
Phaeosphaeria nodorum
Septoria glumarum
Septoria nodorum
Stagonospora nodorum

For a review see Ficke et al. (2018).