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Detection and Quantification of Resistance of Venturia inaequalis Populations to Sterol Demethylation Inhibitors

February 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  2
Pages  184 - 190

Wolfram Köller , W. F. Wilcox , J. Barnard , A. L. Jones , and P. G. Braun

First and second authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva 14456; third author: Computer Services, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva 14456; fourth author: Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824; fifth author: Agriculture Canada, Research Branch, Kentville, NS, B4N 1J5, Canada

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Accepted for publication 21 October 1996.

Monoconidial isolates of Venturia inaequalis were collected in 1990 and 1991 from orchards in New York, Michigan, and Nova Scotia that had never or only sporadically been treated with fungicides acting as sterol demethylation inhibitors (DMIs). Sensitivities of isolates to two representative DMIs (fenarimol and myclobutanil) were determined by a sensitivity test based on the relative growth (RG) of mycelial colonies at one discriminatory dose. Mean isolate sensitivities were not significantly different (P > 0.2) for the majority of the populations tested, and all sensitivity data obtained from these sites were combined to provide a baseline distribution of isolate sensitivities for both fenarimol and myclobutanil. The baseline distributions were compared with isolate sensitivities determined for an experimental orchard in Nova Scotia with a documented case of DMI resistance and for a commercial orchard in Michigan with a long history of DMI use and first evidence of practical DMI resistance. For both DMIs tested and in both treated orchards, frequencies of isolates with RG values <80 had decreased or only slightly increased compared to the baseline population. In contrast, frequencies of isolates with RG values >80 had increased more than 20-fold over baseline levels. Thus, isolates with RG values >80 were rated DMI resistant. The validity of a qualitative isolate classification was tested in controlled infection studies. At doses of fenarimol and myclobutanil recommended for commercial control of apple scab, reproduction of a typical sensitive isolate on treated apple leaves was suppressed completely. Lesions caused by a resistant isolate continued to expand and produced abundant conidia. Statistical analysis of orchard sensitivities revealed that the analysis of isolate counts grouped into the categories DMI sensitive or resistant was most indicative in comparisons of orchard sensitivities aimed at detection of practical DMI resistance. A high degree of cross-resistance between fenarimol and myclobutanil indicated that sensitivity tests with one of the DMIs employed as the diagnostic tool in this study can serve as a test for other DMIs.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society