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Effect of Rain Distribution Alteration on Splash Dispersal of Colletotrichum acutatum

June 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  6
Pages  649 - 655

N. Ntahimpera , L. V. Madden , and L. L. Wilson

Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Wooster 44691

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Accepted for publication 17 March 1997.

Splash dispersal of Colletotrichum acutatum conidia from infected strawberry fruit was assessed using a rain simulator to determine the properties of rain (e.g., intensity [millimeters/hour] or drop size distribution) most related to dissemination. Dispersal with a simulated rain corresponding to a natural rain of about 11 mm/h was compared with dispersal of three other simulated rains that had larger and smaller drop sizes, on average, than idealized natural rains. Splash droplets were collected in sheltered petri plates with a selective medium for Colletotrichum, and colonies formed from conidia entrained in the droplets were counted and used as the measure of dispersal. Colonies were mostly confined to a 27-cm radius from the source, and density of colonies decreased exponentially with the distance squared, as indicated by the fit of a diffusion-type model to the data. Splash dispersal was more affected by drop size distribution than rain intensity or other properties of the generated rains. That is, there was a direct positive relationship between total colonies over 61 min of rain for a circular area with a 72-cm radius (Σ) and the mass (volume) median diameter of impacting drops (D0') for four rain-simulation treatments. In a separate study, strawberry fruit were exposed to the same four simulated rains at two distances from a point source and for two rain durations. Although the proportion of infected fruit (y) increased with time and decreased with distance, rain treatment did not significantly affect y, as predicted based on past work with a wide range of intensities of simulated rains.

Additional keywords: anthracnose, disease spread, Fragaria × ananassa, models, quantitative epidemiology.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society