UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page


SKIP navigation


How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Bluish-black mycelium of the take-all fungus on crowns and lower stems.

Small Grains


Pathogen: Gaeumannomyces graminis f. sp.tritici

(Reviewed 2/07, updated 2/07)

In this Guideline:


Symptoms first appear as stunting and reduced tillering early in the growing season. Later, infected plants prematurely form white heads that lack grain. Roots and crowns are darkened. The presence of a layer of dark brown or black fungal mycelium underneath the lowest leaf sheaths distinguishes take-all from common root rot.


The fungus survives on crop residue and on roots of certain grass weeds, including bentgrass, quackgrass, and some species of brome. Under conditions of high soil moisture, the fungus spreads to adjacent plants by root contact. Infection is favored by cool weather. Take-all is more severe in plants grown on alkaline soil or soil deficient in nutrients.


Cultural Control
Crop rotation: oats and rye are acceptable rotation crops because they are not hosts for the pathogen. Improve field drainage. Provide optimum soil fertility. Avoid excessive nitrate fertilizer, which aggravates take-all.

Chemical Control
There are no recommended chemical treatments for this disease.


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Small Grains
UC ANR Publication 3466
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
L. F. Jackson, Agronomy, UC Davis

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/r730101411.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.