Greasy spot, caused by Mycosphaerella citri, produces leaf and fruit lesions and defoliates trees, resulting in reduced yields and fruit size. Techniques now available allow production of large numbers of ascospores and the quantification of epiphytic growth. The effects of ascospore dose, leaf age, and the timing of fenbuconazole sprays on epiphytic growth and disease severity was determined primarily on rough lemon seedlings in the greenhouse. Inoculation of leaves with 104 ascospores/ml resulted in rapid development of epiphytic growth and symptoms. At lower doses, epiphytic growth and symptoms developed more slowly and were less severe. There was a linear relationship between log10 of the ascospore dose and ratings of epiphytic growth and symptoms, and a linear relationship between the amount of epiphytic growth and symptom severity in greenhouse tests. On grapefruit trees treated with different fungicides in six field experiments, there also was a significant linear relationship between epiphytic growth of M. citri measured in August and symptom severity rated in February to March of the following year, but coefficients of determination were much lower than in greenhouse experiments. Leaf age from 10 to 60 days did not affect susceptibility of leaves to M. citri. Fenbuconazole applied up to 50 days prior to inoculation still reduced epiphytic growth and greasy spot severity under greenhouse conditions, but the postinoculation treatments were effective for only 30 days.
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