PestFacts WA

Glume blotch in wheat

  • Woorree (Geraldton)
Wheat head infected with septoria nodorum (glume blotch).
Wheat head infected with septoria nodorum (glume blotch). Photo courtesy of: DPIRD.

Plant pathologist Ciara Beard (DPIRD) has found glume blotch caused by the pathogen Phaeosphaeria nodorum in Zippy wheat at Woorree, Geraldton. The crop is flowering and the disease has worked its way up from nodorum blotch lesions on the leaves (presence of leaf lesions is a way to distinguish glume blotch from other causes of darkening on wheat heads).

The disease is favoured by warm, wet weather, and severe damage can occur after heavy and frequent rain, such as occurred earlier this month. Heavy infection can result in brown, and later grey, blotching on the ear, leading to shrivelling of grain or complete loss of seed.

Glume blotch is best prevented by application of a registered fungicide when the crop is at grain ear emergence (Z55 - 59) and when the disease is seen moving up the leaves. DPIRD have a trial at the DPIRD Woorree site this year investigating if fungicide application during crop flowering is effective or too late for glume blotch management. It is important to read fungicide labels before application, especially to consider withholding periods.

More information on registered fungicides can be found at DPIRD’s Registered foliar fungicides for cereals in Western Australia page.

Further information about this disease can be found at the department’s Managing yellow spot and septoria nodorum blotch in wheat page.

For more information on wheat diseases contact Kithsiri Jayasena, Plant Pathologist, Albany on +61 (0)8 9892 8477, Geoff Thomas, Plant Pathologist, South Perth on +61 (0)8 9368 3262 or Ciara Beard, Plant Pathologist, Geraldton on +61 (0)8 9956 8504 or Andrea Hills, Plant Pathologist, Esperance on +61 (0)8 9083 1144


Article author: Ciara Beard (DPIRD Geraldton).