Selection of rice genotypes to integrate a varietal mixture for blast control

ABSTRACT Blast, caused by Magnaporthe oryzae (Herbert) Barr, is one of the most important diseases affecting the rice crop. Several strategies for the disease management, such as use of resistant genotypes, have been adopted; however, the large number of pathogen races makes difficult to obtain cultivars of durable resistance. In this context, using a varietal mixture may be a viable and promising strategy for the disease control. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the reaction of rice cultivars to M. oryzae races and the efficiency of the varietal mixture in reducing the severity of blast under lowland and upland conditions in Tocantins State. To evaluate the efficiency of the varietal mixture, 37 genotypes were sown in isolated lines and in mixture. The severity of leaf blast was evaluated over the crop cycle, as well as the incidence of panicle blast and the crop yield. There was variation in the reaction of the studied genotypes to the major inoculated races. The rice composition was effective in reducing blast severity on leaves and panicles and showed an increase in productivity under both lowland and upland conditions.