Batiki blue grass eye spot
World distribution unknown. It is recorded from Fiji and Solomon Islands.
Ischaemum indicum, batiki blue grass.
Small spots, 0.5-1 mm diameter, grey with a reddish to purple border on the leaves (Photo 1). The spores are rare in the field, but occur on the dying leaf tips and on dead leaves. They are spread by wind and also on planting material, if cuttings rather than seed is used to establish pastures.
There is no information on the damage done by this eye spot fungus. Spots are very numerous on the leaves, so it is possible that they cause the leaves to die early.
Look for the small spots with light centres and reddish margins on the leaves. This is a common leaf spot wherever the grass is grown in Fiji and Solomon Islands.
Although this is an important pasture grass, and the disease is present wherever it is grown, control is impractical unless a variety of the host is bred for resistance. If the disease is limiting pasture production, it would be best to replant with another grass species than trying to control eye spot on batiki blue.
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Photo 1 Kohler F, Pellegrin F, Jackson G, McKenzie E (1997) Diseases of cultivated crops in Pacific Island countries. South Pacific Commission. Pirie Printers Pty Limited, Canberra, Australia.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
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