The effect of rhizoctonia root disease and applied nitrogen on growth, nitrogen uptake and nutrient concentrations in spring wheat uri icon

abstract

  • Root disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani is a common problem of spring wheat in South Australia. There are reports that nitrogen applications can reduce the incidence and severity of the disease. A glasshouse trail in pots examined the effects of disease and of applied nitrogen on wheat growth, and evaluated the utility of the basal stem nitrate concentration in diagnosing deficiency in plants with and without root disease. Plants were harvested at the mid-tillering stage. Shoot growth was increased by applied nitrogen until a maximum yield was attained, after which additional N had no effect on shoot yield. Root growth, however, responded positively only to low levels of applied N, after which it declined, and in the highest N treatment root mass was less than in the plants without applied N. Root disease caused severe reductions in plant growth, and both root and shoot mass were affected similarly. Even though growth of diseased plants responded positively to applied nitrogen the response was less than that of disease-free plants. The critical concentration of basal stem nitrate-N did not appear to be affected by root disease, and was estimated at 1200 mg kg(-1), consistent with other glasshouse data. The basal stem nitrate-N concentration, either in fresh or dried tissue, appeared a better diagnostic tool of N stress than did total shoot N concentration or content, because of sharper definition of critical concentrations. Concentrations of other nutrients in shoot tissue were affected differentially by both applied nitrogen and root disease, but generally did not reach critical levels, although phosphorus and magnesium appeared deficient in very disease-stressed plants.

publication date

  • 1994
  • 1994