American Journal of Potato Research

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 164–169 | Cite as

The Low Potential of Teff (Eragrostis tef) as an Inoculum Source for Verticillium dahliae

  • Z. A. Frederick
  • D. A. Johnson


Teff (Eragrostis tef) is a fine stemmed annual grass and gluten free small grain that is of interest as a forage, cover, or a rotation crop. Little is known about the susceptibility of teff to many diseases. Teff could be grown in rotation with potato in the northwestern United States provided teff cultivation is economical and does not increase soil populations for pathogens affecting rotation crops such as Verticillium dahliae. Verticillium dahliae infects a wide range of dicotyledonous plants, making it one of the most important fungal pathogens of crop plants in North America, including potato. The objective of this study was to quantify the susceptibility of teff to eight V. dahliae isolates and compare the susceptibility of teff to eggplant. Teff was confirmed as a host for V. dahliae, as indicated by the presence of microsclerotia in teff stems and roots after artificial inoculation in two years of greenhouse studies. The number of microsclerotia produced in teff did not differ between mint and potato pathotypes of V. dahliae. No V. dahliae isolate produced significantly greater numbers of microsclerotia than any of the seven other isolates tested in a two-year study. Microsclerotia production of V. dahliae in teff was consistently less than in susceptible eggplant cv. Night shadow in both greenhouse experiments (P < 0.02). It is unlikely that teff infected by V. dahliae will proliferate microsclerotia of mint or potato-aggressive pathotypes, especially when compared to susceptible eggplant cultivars.


Verticillium wilt Host adapted pathotype Aggressiveness Rotation crop 


El tef (Eragrostis tef) es un pasto anual de tallos finos y de grano pequeño libre de gluten que es de interés como forraje, cobertura, o cultivo de rotación. Se sabe poco acerca de su susceptibilidad a muchas enfermedades. El tef puede cultivarse en rotación con papa en la parte nor-occidental de los Estado Unidos, asumiendo que el cultivo de tef es económico y que no incrementa la población de patógenos del suelo que afecten la rotación de cultivos, tales como Verticillium dahliae. Este hongo infecta a una gran amplitud de plantas dicotiledóneas, haciéndolo uno de los hongos fitopatógenos más importantes de los cultivos en Norteamérica, incluyendo papa. El objetivo de este estudio fue cuantificar la susceptibilidad de tef a ocho aislamientos de V, dahliae y comparar la susceptibilidad de tef con la berenjena. Se confirmó a tef como un hospedero para V. dahliae, como se indicó mediante la presencia de microesclerocios en los tallos y raíces de tef después de la inoculación artificial en dos años de estudios en invernadero. El número de microesclerocios producidos en tef no difirieron entre los patotipos de V. dahliae en menta y papa. Ninguno de los aislamientos produjo significativamente mayores números de microesclerocios que cualquiera de los otros siete aislamientos probados en un estudio de dos años. La producción de microesclerocios de V. dahliae en tef fue consistentemente menor que en la variedad susceptible de berenjena Night shadow en ambos experimentos de invernadero (P < 0.02). Es improbable que tef infectado por V. dahliae prolifere microesclerocios de patotipos de menta o agresivos de papa, especialmente cuando se les compara con las variedades susceptibles de berenjena.



This work was supported, in part, by funds appropriated to Washington State University, Pullman, WA, by the Northwest Potato Consortium. PPNS # 0743, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Agricultural Research Center, Hatch Project No. WNP0678, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6430, USA. We thank Tom Cummings for assistance in conducting this research. I appreciate David Wheeler, Dr. Debra Inglis, Dr. Mark Pavek, and Dr. Weidong Chen’s efforts with editorial suggestions before submission.


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Copyright information

© The Potato Association of America 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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