Importance of seed-borne inoculum in the etiology of the Ascochyta blight complex of field peas (Pisum sativum L.) grown in Victoria Academic Article uri icon


  • Fungi associated with the ascochyta blight complex of field peas were isolated from 436 of 691 seedlots tested. Of the fungi detected, 94.8% of isolates were Mycosphaerella pinodes, 4.2% Phoma medicaginis, and 1.0% Ascochyta pisi. The levels of infestation of seed varied considerably from year to year and between seedlots, depending on the amount of rainfall between flowering and maturity. Within a particular pea-growing region, the level of seed-borne infection was often highest in seed from crops harvested latest. In addition, crops sown early were usually more severely affected by disease than late-sown crops, and this resulted in higher levels of seed infection. There was no correlation between the level of seed infestation by M. pinodes and the severity of ascochyta blight; however, where the level of seed infection was high (>11%) there was a significant reduction in emergence, which caused a reduction in grain yield. It may therefore be possible to use seed with high levels of seed-borne ascochyta blight fungi, provided the seeding rate is increased to compensate for poor emergence.

publication date

  • 1995