Application of the Humid Thermal Index for Relating Bunted Kernel Incidence to Soilborne Tilletia indica Teliospores in an Arizona Durum Wheat Field. Academic Article uri icon


  • A study was conducted to determine the relationship between soilborne Tilletia indica teliospore density and Karnal bunt incidence in an Arizona durum wheat field in 2005 and 2006. Soil samples were collected from 507 sample points according to a grid marked in a 7.7-ha field. Approximately 500 g of soil from the top 5 cm was collected from each sample point, and teliospores were recovered from 25-g aliquots by a modified size-selective sieving, sucrose centrifugation procedure. Twenty-five and 50 wheat heads were collected from a 1-m2 area around each sample point in May 2005 and June 2006, respectively. Wheat head samples from each sample point were bulked, threshed, and examined for the presence of bunted kernels. Additionally, data for soilborne teliospores and percent bunted kernels from 70 sample points in 2005 and 2006 that corresponded to sample points from a 2004 bunted kernel survey conducted by the USDA and Arizona Department of Agriculture were analyzed. Soilborne teliospore numbers ranged from 6 to 1,000 per 25-g soil sample in the 2-year study. No bunted kernels were recovered in 2005; however, two sample points yielded bunted kernels in 2006. Weather data from three time periods in 2004, 2005, and 2006 were applied to the humid thermal index model and suggested that a conducive environment for disease development existed in 2005. Based on the data from this research, we concluded that even though high numbers of soilborne teliospores were present in the field, and although a conducive environment was present for disease to develop on only one occasion, a direct relationship between soilborne teliospores and disease incidence may not exist.

published proceedings

  • Plant Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Allen, T. W., Jones, D. C., Boratynski, T. N., Ykema, R. E., & Rush, C. M.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Allen, TW||Jones, DC||Boratynski, TN||Ykema, RE||Rush, CM

publication date

  • July 2009