Infection and development of olive scab disease, caused by Fusicladium oleagineum, were evaluated on detached leaves and potted plants of the susceptible cultivar Picual in growth chambers and a shadehouse. An inoculum dose of 1 × 105 conidia per ml was selected from a range of densities tested, and it was used for all experiments. Infection occurred from 5 to 25°C, and disease severity was the greatest at ~20°C for wetness durations of 12 to 24 h and at ~15°C for longer durations. Based on a generalized form of the Analytis Beta model, the optimum temperature and minimum wetness duration for infection were 15.5°C and 11.9 h. Dry periods ≤78 h immediately after inoculation did not reduce disease incidence but did reduce disease severity. Disease severity was negatively correlated with leaf age. Disease incubation period was positively correlated with leaf age, with a minimum incubation period of 28 days in the youngest leaves. Inoculated plants that were incubated in a growth chamber or in a shadehouse had the same level of infection, but disease severity was lower in plants incubated in the growth chamber because many infections remained latent for 6 months after inoculation. The data in this study will be useful for the development of a forecasting system for olive scab epidemics.
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