Assessing modern cultivars of winter wheat to damage by the grey field slug (Deroceras reticulatum)
About this project
Differences in the susceptibility of twelve Winter Wheat cultivars to grain hollowing by the field slug (Deroceras reticulatum) were tested in the laboratory. Damage was assessed after l, 2 and 5 days exposure to slugs at 10°C. Differences were apparent between cultivars, with the most popular cultivars in recent years, Riband, Mercia and Avalon, being most severely damaged. The cultivars Buster, Hunter, Parade, Hussar and Brigadier suffered significantly less damage than Riband, Mercia and Avalon. The damage to grain could be related to sugar content in the ungerminated seed and release of sugars and other solutes during germination at both extremes of slug damage to Winter Wheat cultivars.
These results suggest that it may be possible to assess the risk of damage to Winter Wheat cultivars based on the mobilisation and release of sugars in germinating seeds. Perceived differences in slug damage to particular cultivars needs to assessed under field conditions in conjunction with more refined assessments of sugar content in order to substantiate this relationship.
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