EVALUATION OF DOWNY MILDEW (HYALOPERONOSPORA BRASSICAE) INFECTION SEVERITY ON DIFFERENT CRUCIFEROUS OILSEED CROPS
Diseases constitute an important economic problem in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) cultivation. Although downy mildew has been counted so far as a minor disease, under intensive cultivation system and short rotation interval, the impact of diseases could increase in the future, especially under predicted more humid northern climatic conditions. This research study is the first report about the severity of downy mildew infection on cruciferous crops in Estonia. During two years (2010 − 2011), downy mildew infection severity was assessed in six different cruciferous crops (B. napus, B. juncea, B. nigra, Sinapis alba, Raphanus sativus, Eruca sativa) in field trials located in Eerika, Tartu County, Estonia. On both study years, four disease assessments were done. Downy mildew infection started a week earlier in 2010, but the overall disease pressure was lower compared to 2011. Based on our field trial results, S. alba, E. sativa and R. sativus plants were significantly more resistant to downy mildew compared to other tested crops. Furthermore, in 2010 downy mildew symptoms were not recorded on two cruciferous species E. sativa and R. sativus. Brassica nigra and B. napus plants were the most susceptible to downy mildew, with especially severe infection in 2011. Based on our two years data, downy mildew can damage foliage on spring oilseed rape (B. napus) and black mustard (B. nigra) in a notable extent. We conclude that downy mildew is an important pathogen, which should be monitored on different oilseed cruciferous crops in Estonia.