Zymoseptoria tritici is the causal agent of one of the European Union's most devastating foliar diseases of wheat: Septoria tritici Blotch (STB). It is also a notable pathogen of wheat grown in temperate climates throughout the world. In this commentary, we highlight the importance of STB on wheat in the EU. To better understand STB, it is necessary to consider the host crop, the fungal pathogen and their shared environment. Here, we consider the fungus per se and its interaction with its host and then focus on a more agricultural overview of the impact STB on wheat. We consider the climatic and weather factors which influence its spread and severity, allude to the agricultural practices which may mitigate or enhance its impact on crop yields, and evaluate the economic importance of wheat as a food and animal feed crop in the UK and EU. Finally, we estimate the cost of STB disease to EU agriculture.
Keywords: Crop yields; Economic value; Septoria tritici Blotch; Wheat.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.