Dispersal of Rhynchosporium secalis conidia from infected barley leaves or straw by simulated rain
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
Simulated rain (mean drop diameter c. 1 or 3 mm) was allowed to fall for 10 – 15 min on to barley leaves or straw infected by Rhynchosporium secalis (leaf blotch). The leaves were supported on a mesh through which run-off water drained and the straw was supported on a rigid surface on which run-off water collected. The numbers of R. secalis conidia and spore-carrying splash droplets collected by horizontal samplers (microscope slides and pieces of photographic film) decreased rapidly with increasing distance from and increasing height above the sources, with half-distances of 2 – 10 cm. Less than 10% of the spores or droplets reached heights of more than 30 cm. Incident drops 3 mm in diameter produced more spore-carrying droplets and dispersed more conidia than did 1 mm drops. The size category of splash droplets with the greatest proportion of the spore-carrying droplets dispersed by 3 mm drops was 200 – 400 μm, whether the source was infected barley leaves or barley straw. For leaves or straw the greatest proportions of spores were carried in droplets > 1000 μm in diameter. The mean diameter of spore-carrying droplets (478 μm) dispersed from free-draining leaves was less than that of droplets from straw plus run-off water (563 μm). However, the leaf source had more spores cm-2 and the mean number of spores per droplet was greater (113 as opposed to 6·8) than for the straw source.