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Influence of sclerotinia sclerotiorum wilt on seed yield and quality of sunflower wilted at different stages of development

Influence of sclerotinia sclerotiorum wilt on seed yield and quality of sunflower wilted at different stages of development

Crop Science 18(6): 974-976

Wilt caused by S. sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary reduced yield and quality of sunflower seeds (Helianthus annuus L.) produced in field plots. The amount of reduction depended on the stage of plant development when wilt occurred. Less than 0.5% of the plants were wilted at the bud stage and 7.2% by the start of anthesis. Thereafter approximately 6% of the plants wilted each week until 8 wk after flowering when 60% of the plants had been killed. Seed yields were reduced more than 7 when wilting occurred within 4 wk of flowering. This reduction was primarily due to lower seed weight. Oil content increased from 32.7% for plants wilted in the first 2 wk, to 46.4% when wilting was delayed until 8 wk after flowering. Protein content of oil-free meal was fairly stable and averaged 53.1% during the first 5 wk, but increased to 57.7% thereafter. Fatty acid composition was relatively unaffected by wilting as linoleic acid content varied from 74.4 to 76.8%. The oil was of excellent quality regardless of when wilting occurred.

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Accession: 005691238

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