Pollination effects on pearl millet ergot

Thakur, R P and Williams, R J (1980) Pollination effects on pearl millet ergot. Phytopathology , 70 (2). pp. 80-84. ISSN 0031-949X

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Pollination of inflorescences of 3 male-sterile lines of Pennisetum americanum before, or at the same time as, inoculation with Claviceps fusiformis conidia reduced ergot to <3% of infected florets. Pollination 16 h after inoculation reduced ergot to 7-21% compared with 60-86% for inoculated, nonpollinated checks. Pollen germinated in 1 h when incubated in a 10% sucrose sol. whereas conidia did not germinate in <16 h of incubation. Results from inoculation of inflorescences of male-sterile lines at different stages of flowering in the absence of pollen, and observations on the effects of pollination on stigma morphology and longevity, lead to the conclusion that infection occurs mainly through the stigmas. Pollination protects against infection probably because it induces rapid withering of stigmas. The results help explain the increased ergot susceptibility of pearl millet F1 hybrids compared with traditional cvs., and have important implications for resistance screening and for the development of cultural control measures.ADDITIONAL ABSTRACT:Pollination of three male-sterile lines of Pennisetum americanum before or at the same time as inoculation with Claviceps fusiformis greatly reduced ergot infection and pollination 16 h after inoculation also reduced infection. Heaviest infection followed the inoculation of unpollinated inflorescences at the stage when most stigmas were receptive. It is suggested that pollination protects against infection by inducing rapid withering of the stigmas, and that the observed susceptibility of F1 hybrids, compared with traditional varieties, is caused by delayed pollination. It is emphasized that plants being screened for ergot resistance should not become pollinated before inoculation and it is suggested that ergot control in F1 hybrids may be improved by selecting for reduced protogyny or by growing an early-flowering variety with hybrid crops

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2011 10:51
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 10:51
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/3269
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/Phyto-70-80
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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