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Infection of susceptible cultivars of perennial (Lolium perenne) and Italian (Lolium multiflorum) ryegrasses with crown rust (Puccinia coronata) reduced yield measured 6 weeks after infection and at two regrowth cuts. In perennial, but not Italian, ryegrass, rust infection of mixed swards of a resistant and a susceptible cultivar reduced the contribution to yield made by the susceptible cultivar and increased that of the resistant cultivar. This effect persisted for three regrowth cuts. The trend in effect on the number of tillers, but not plant height, was similar.

Infection increased leaf protein in susceptible perennial ryegrass but had little effect in Italian ryegrass. In both species, rust reduced water-soluble carbohydrate and the predicted digestibility of susceptible and resistant cultivars, but had no effect on quality of regrowth.