Losses in productivity of subterranean clover swards caused by sowing cucumber mosaic virus‐infected seed

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Abstract

Field trials were done in 1988 ‐ 89 at two sites to examine the effects of sowing seed stocks in which a low proportion (1.6–7.0%) of the seed was carrying cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) infection (= infected seed) and the subsequent CM V spread that results, on the productivity of swards of subterranean clover cvs Esperance, Green Range and Karridale. Except in irrigated plots of cv. Green Range, a variable proportion of the CMV‐infected seedlings always failed to establish, so sowing infected seed normally resulted in plots containing fewer or far fewer seed‐infected plants than expected. The rate of virus spread by aphids was faster and resulted in more extensive infection at maturity when the plots contained more seed‐infected source plants. In two irrigated trials at South Perth, in which healthy and infected seed of cvs Esperance and Green Range was sown, CMV spread was extensive. When the plots were left undefoliated, herbage dry wt yields were decreased by 12 – 30% and seed yields by 53 – 64% due to infection. When they were mown, the herbage dry wt losses recorded were 17 – 24%. In three trials at Mt Barker sown with healthy and infected seed, extensive spread of CMV occurred with cv. Green Range but not with cvs Esperance and Karridale. With cv. Green Range, losses of 25 – 28% in herbage dry wt were recorded inside CMV‐affected patches in mown or grazed plots, while losses were up to 13% when herbage was sampled at random. Seed yield losses were 40–42% and 53% in infected mown and undefoliated cv. Green Range plots, respectively. In the mown or grazed plots of cvs Esperance and Karridale, herbage dry wt losses recorded were up to 7% while seed yield losses were 9 – 16% in mown and 9% in undefoliated plots. The mean wt/seed of seed harvested from mown plots of cvs Green Range and Karridale sown with infected seed was 8–12% less than that of seed from mown control plots. CMV was detected in seed harvested from undefoliated cv. Green Range plots and mown plots of cvs Green Range and Karridale sown with infected seed but levels of seed infection with the mown plots were 3–5 times less than in the seed sown. Field trials were done at two sites in 1987 – 90 to examine the persistence of CMV in subterranean clover swards. CMV infection was established in 1987 and the plots were grazed in subsequent years. At Badgingarra, infection gradually decreased with little CMV being recovered by 1990. At Mt Barker, recovery of CMV was relatively poor in 1988 and even poorer in 1989, but there was some resurgence of CMV infection in 1990.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-288
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Volume119
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes

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