Challenges with managing disease complexes during application of different measures against foliar diseases of field pea

Martin J. Barbetti, Tanveer N. Khan, Ian Pritchard, Jay Ram Lamichhane, Jean Noel Aubertot, David Camilo Corrales, Ming Pei You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Studies were undertaken across five field locations in Western Australia to determine the relative changes in disease severity and subsequent field pea yield from up to four foliar pathogens associated with a field pea foliar disease complex (viz. genera Didymella, Phoma, Peronospora, and Septoria) across four different pea varieties sown at three different times and at three different densities. Delaying sowing of field pea significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the severity of Ascochyta blight (all five locations) and Septoria blight (one location), increased the severity of downy mildew (four locations), but had no effect on seed yield. In relation to Ascochyta blight severity at 80 days after sowing, at all locations the early time of sowing had significantly (P < 0.05) more severe Ascochyta blight than the mid and late times of sowing. Increasing actual plant density from 20 to 25 plants m-2 to 58 to 78 plants m-2 significantly (P < 0.05) increased the severity of the Ascochyta blight (four locations) and downy mildew (one location), and it increased seed yield at four locations irrespective of sowing date and three locations irrespective of variety. Compared with varieties Dundale, Wirrega, and Pennant, variety Alma showed significantly (P < 0.05) less severe Ascochyta blight, downy mildew, and Septoria blight (one location each). Grain yield was highest for the early time of sowing at three locations. Varieties Alma, Dundale, and Wirrega significantly (P < 0.05) outyielded Pennant at four locations. The percentage of isolations of individual Ascochyta blight pathogens at 80 days after the first time of sowing varied greatly, with genus Didymella ranging from 25 to 93% and genus Phoma ranging from 6 to 23% across the five field locations. This fluctuating nature of individual pathogen types and proportions within the Ascochyta blight complex, along with variation in the occurrence of pathogens Peronospora and Septoria, highlights the challenges to understand and manage the complexities of cooccurring different foliar pathogens of field pea. While the search for more effective host resistance continues, there is a need for and opportunities from further exploring and exploiting cultural management approaches focusing on crop sequence diversification, intercropping, manipulating time of sowing and stand density, and application of improved seed sanitation and residue/inoculum management practices. We discuss the constraints and opportunities toward overcoming the challenges associated with managing foliar disease complexes in field pea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-627
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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