biomass, fungi, Panicum virgatum, switchgrass, Tilletia maclaganii
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a native perennial prairie grass that is now cultivated as a forage crop and a biomass crop for renewable energy. Biomass yields of switchgrass in southern Iowa have recently dropped significantly in some fields and the reduction has been attributed to disease. A disease survey was conducted in 1999 to assess the prevalence of major diseases in Chariton Valley switchgrass production. There were disease symptoms present on switchgrass plants in each field and thirteen fungal species were identified from leaf, stem, and root samples. Two pathogenic fungi, Tilletia maclaganii and Colletotrichum graminicola, were present in 88% and 100% of fields, respectively. Severity (% diseased leaf area) of C. graminicola was low in each field. However, Tilletia maclaganii was at high incidence (>70%) in some fields and apparently is causing significant reductions in biomass and seed production. Nine of the other fungi identified in the survey have not been reported previously from switchgrass in Iowa.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 2002 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Gravert, C. E. and Munkvold, G. P.
"Fungi and Diseases Associated with Cultivated Switchgrass in Iowa,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 109:
, Article 7.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol109/iss1/7