Gaeumannomyces graminis


The disease survives in the soil on infected cereal and grass residues. The fungus infects the root tissue of young plants and can spread from plant to plant in the form of hyphae growing through the soil which is why the disease is often seen in patches. The fungus blocks the conductive tissue of the plants and reduces water uptake. Early signs of the disease include yellowing and stunting, tillering is reduced and plants mature prematurely and often exhibit bleached seed heads. The affected roots are blackened and the plants are easy to pull from the soil.

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