Types of Diseases

Testing your seed for disease is extremely important. Seed borne diseases can cause costly crop losses.

Alternaria
A test that determines the amount of seed borne alternaria that is present in seed.  Although Alternaria is present every year on the Canadian Prairies, the severity of this disease varies considerably from year to year and area to area based largely on the moisture and temperature situation. The disease can infect all growth stages of the canola plant.  Alternaria can be responsible for germination loss, as well as severe losses later on in the season.

Anthracnose
A test that determines the amount of seed borne anthracnose that is present in the seed.  It is a potentially devastating seed-borne disease that growers need to be concerned about.  Low infection levels of anthracnose in the seed have the potential under optimal conditions to cause a severe outbreak of the disease.  Also, low infection levels can cause significant yield losses and provide additional inoculum for re-infection.   Seed testing is an effective and inexpensive way to measure and detect this disease.

Ascochyta
A test that determines the amount of seed borne ascochyta that is present in the seed.  Ascochyta is a serious fungal pathogen that infects chickpea, lentil, and field pea. The Ascochyta fungus is crop specific meaning that chickpea Ascochyta only infects chickpea and not lentil or field pea.  Many parts of western Canada experienced growing conditions that may be conducive to the development and spread of Ascochyta.  For this reason, seed testing may be extremely important.  Ascochyta can be responsible for severe crop losses in pulse crops.

Blackleg
A test that determines the amount of seed borne blackleg that is present in the seed. This disease is responsible for severe crop losses due to premature ripening.

Botrytis
A test that determines the amount of seed borne botrytis that is present in the seed. Botrytis can be responsible for sever crop losses in pulse crops.

Clubroot
A test that determines if soil borne clubroot is present in the soil or in plant tissue. Clubroot can be responsible for severe crop losses in canola and mustard.  As a rough estimate, the % yield loss from clubroot is about half the % of infected plants.

Fusarium
An agar plate test to determine the amount of fusarium that is present in the seed sample. Fusarium is a fungal disease of cereals, it often infects wheat but can infect other cereal crops and forage grasses.

Smut
A test to determine the amount of true loose smut that is present in the embryo of the seed, reported on a percentage basis.

Sclerotinia

A test to determine the amount of sclerotinia that is present in the seed, reported on a percentage basis.

Cochliobolus sativus

A test to determine the amount of Cochliobolus that is present in the seed, reported on a percentage basis.

Pasmo

A test to determine the amount of Pasmo present in flax, reported on a percentage basis.  Pasmo is widespread and affects flax in all flax growing areas of the Canadian Prairies and the north central United States.  The fungus infects flax leaves, causing defoliation under severe epidemics. It also infects the pedicels, tiny branches that carry the flax bolls,  resulting in boll-drop.  Pasmo affects flaxseed yield and quality, with severe infestations reducing yields by 50 percent.

Bacterial Blight

A Dome Test is used to determine the amount of Bacterial Blight in a pulse seed sample, especially in dry bean seed.  The results are reported on a level of severity based on a logrithmic scale of the number of leaf lesions on the test seedlings and are reported  from 0 (best) to 7 (worst). Bacterial blight is common where pulses are grown intensively and humidity is high.  It is a seedborne disease so the use of certified disease free seed is essential.