Effects of seedbed management on blast development in susceptible and partially resistant rice cultivars
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Four rice cultivars, susceptible or partially resistant to Pyricularia grisea were evaluated for their apparent infection rates (r) and for terminal severity values in seedlings grown in seedbeds. Susceptibility of partially resistant cultivars decreased when seeded in wet seedbed compared to those grown in raised or upland seedbed. The degree of blast reduction due to flooding varied with rice genotype, seeding rate, and environmental conditions. Flooding was effective in managing seedling blast of partially resistant cultivars but not of susceptible cultivar. Use of a lower seed rate in comparison to a higher seed rate also led to reductions in r-values and terminal disease severities. However, in case of the susceptible cultivar IR50, effect of seed rate was more pronounced, when low amount and short duration of rainfall occurred. Flooding of wet beds with low seed rate further reduced the blast incidence. Results of this study suggest that with appropriate use of water, seed rate, and partial host resistance there are prospects for effective control of leaf blast in the tropics.
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