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Phenology of Apothecium Production in Populations of Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi from Early- and Late-Maturing Blueberry Cultivars

February 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  2
Pages  218 - 223

Jeffrey S. Lehman and Peter V. Oudemans

First author: Otterbein College, Department of Life and Earth Sciences, Westerville, OH 43081; and second author: Rutgers University, Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center, Lake Oswego Rd. Chatsworth, NJ 08019

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Accepted for publication 14 October 1996.

Pseudosclerotia were evaluated for differences in timing of apothecium development in four controlled experiments conducted over a 2-year period. In a separate experiment, conidia from 10 randomly selected isolates from both of the fungal populations were used to inoculate open flowers. Germination of pseudosclerotia produced from these artificial inoculations also was evaluated. The timing and rate of shoot elongation for cvs. Weymouth and Jersey were assessed in one greenhouse and two field experiments. Average development times for the fungal population from cv. Weymouth were 8 to 15 days earlier or 33 to 42% less than those for the population from cv. Jersey. The fungal population from Weymouth also exhibited less variation in development times for each developmental stage measured. Similarly, germination of pseudosclerotia produced in artificial inoculations differed between populations. On average, pseudosclerotia derived from the Weymouth population produced apothecia 16 days earlier. During spring 1995 and 1996, vegetative and truss buds on cv. Weymouth developed 4 to 16 days earlier than those on cv. Jersey. These results demonstrate that M. vaccinii-corymbosi exhibits variation in timing of pseudosclerotia germination and apothecium development within and between populations. We hypothesize that differences observed in the timing of apothecium development are related to the fitness of the populations on their original host cultivars and were selected by host phenology.

Additional keywords: fungal adaptation, fungal fitness, mummy berry disease, phenological development.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society