Analysis of the species diversity of leaf pathogens in Icelandic barley fields.
For the past 50 years the importance of barley in Icelandic agriculture has increased, not least as a result of environmental change and new cultivars. Following this the impact of pathogens is expected to increase as well as the importance of knowing which pathogens affect barley in Iceland. Presented here is the first analysis of the diversity of barley fungal pathogens in Iceland. Samples collected from around the country were analysed using molecular methods. At least twelve species of fungi were identified, including R. secalis, a known pathogen in Iceland, as well as fungi not previously recorded on barley in Iceland, including Microdochium nivale, Fusarium avenaceum, and Epicoccum nigrum. Three species, Pyrenophora teres f. teres, Didymella exitialis, and Itersonilia perplexans, are new to the Icelandic funga. The results show that diversity of barley fungal pathogens in Iceland is greater than previously thought and this will have implications for future breeding projects.