Effects of severity and timing of stem canker (Leptosphaeria maculans) symptoms on yield of winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in the UK
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
West, Jon S.
The relationships between yield loss and incidence (% plants with stems affected) or severity (mean stem score, 0-4 scale) of stem canker in winter oilseed rape were analysed using data from experiments at Rothamsted in 1991/92, Withington in 1992/93, Boxworth in 1993/94 and Rothamsted in 1997/98. Critical point models and area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) models were better than multiple point models for describing relationships between yield (t ha(-1)) and incidence or severity of stem canker for the four experiments. Since yield is influenced by many factors other than disease, % yield loss was calculated and critical point models and AUDPC models relating % yield loss to stem canker were constructed. The critical point models for % yield loss on stem canker incidence for three of the four experiments were similar, but differed from that for Rothamsted in 1991/92. There were also no differences between models of % yield loss on AUDPC of both incidence and severity for these three experiments. Therefore, general models of % yield loss (L) against AUDPC of incidence (X) or severity (S) of stem canker from growth stages 4.8 to 6.4 were derived from the combined data sets for the three experiments: L = -0.76 + 0.0075X (R-2 = 35%, p < 0.001), L = 0.26 + 0.53S (R-2 = 37%, p < 0.001). The relationships between % yield loss and % plants with different stem canker severity scores at different growth stages were also analysed; the greatest yield losses were generally associated with the largest severity scores, for plants assessed at the same crop growth stage, and were also associated with the early development of stem lesions. Further analyses showed that % yield loss was related to incidence or severity of both basal stem cankers and upper stem lesions in experiments at Boxworth in 1993/94 and at Rothamsted in 1997/98.