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[¦dam·piŋ ′ȯf]
(plant pathology)
A fungus disease of seedlings and cuttings in which the parasites invade the plant tissues near the ground level, causing wilting and rotting.



the partial or complete destruction of winter wheats and other winter crops (such as perennial grasses) from “starvation” as a result of a prolonged period under deep snow cover.

Damping-off is caused by insufficient light, the cessation of the flow of water and food from the soil, and the high humidity and temperature under the snow. In these conditions new nutritive elements do not form in the plants, and those accumulated earlier are depleted. As a result, carbohydrate starvation sets in, followed by protein breakdown, and, finally, by disease (fusiarial wilt, sclerotinia rot, and others).

Damping-off occurs primarily in mild winters, especially on overgrown and not very hardy fall crops that were covered with a thick layer of snow that did not melt early in spring (in hollows, on the edge of forests). Damping-off also occurs when a thick layer of snow (40-50 cm) covers winter crops not prepared for wintering or soil that has not frozen through. A hanging ice crust that lets in light and hence raises the temperature can also be a cause of damping-off. In all of these instances, the active life processes of the plants continue, and their respiration increases.

In order to prevent damping-off of plants, sowing too early and too thickly and excessive nitrogen fertilizing should be avoided; use of a phosphoropotash fertilizer, resistant strains, hill sowing, and rollers to pack down snow on in-completely frozen soil are recommended.


References in periodicals archive ?
Microbial properties of composts that suppress damping-off and root rot of creeping bentgrass causes by Pythium graminicola.
Mutagenesis of beta-1,3-glucanase genes in Lysobacter enzymogenes strain C3 results in reduced biological control activity toward Bipolaris leaf spot of tall fescue and Pythium damping-off of sugar beet.
used Sarojak's (1975) technique to evaluate accessions for their level of resistance to seedling damping-off.
For example, the bioplastic has been shown to be an attractive method of incorporating beneficial Trichoderma fungi into potting mix to protect flowers such as impatiens from fungi that cause damping-off disease.
Make sure seed trays and pots are well scrubbed out - this should drastically reduce the risk of damping-off disease.
Group G", a form of Pythium ultimum causing damping-off of safflower.
In the United States, damping-off disease, which is caused by the soil pathogen Pythium, keeps black cherry trees in check.
KEEP watering seedlings, particularly those just transplanted, with copper-based fungicide to avoid damping-off.
ADRIENNE SAYS: Your seedlings are suffering from a fungal disease called damping-off.
Water in well with a copper-based fungicide such as Traditional Copper or Cheshunt Compound to prevent damping-off disease.
In seedlings, it causes rotting of the stem, called damping-off.
Water from the mains only, as water from a butt often carries the fungi which cause the fatal damping-off disease.