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Spatial Patterns of Microsclerotia of Verticillium dahliae in Soil and Verticillium Wilt of Cauliflower

March 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  3
Pages  325 - 331

C. L. Xiao , J. J. Hao , and K. V. Subbarao

Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, c/o U.S. Agricultural Research Station, 1636 E. Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905

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Accepted for publication 29 November 1996.

The spatial patterns of microsclerotia of Verticillium dahliae in soil and wilt symptoms on cauliflower were determined at three sites in each of two fields in 1994 and 1995. Each site was an 8 × 8 grid divided into 64 contiguous quadrats (2 by 2 m each). Soil samples were collected to a depth of 15 cm with a probe (2.5 cm in diameter), and samples from four sites in each quadrat were bulked. Plants in each quadrat were cut transversely, and the number of plants with vascular discoloration and the number without discoloration were recorded. The soil was assayed for microsclerotia by the modified Anderson sampler technique. Lloyd's index of patchiness (LIP) was used as an indicator to evaluate the aggregation of microsclerotia in the field. Spatial autocorrelation and geostatistical analyses were also used to assess the autocorrelation of microsclerotia among quadrats. The LIP for microsclerotia was greater than 1, indicating aggregation of propagules; however, the degree of aggregation at most sites was not high. Significant autocorrelation within or across rows was detected in some spatial autocorrelograms of propagules, and anisotropic patterns were also detected in some oriented semivariograms from geostatistical analyses for microsclerotia, indicating the influence of bed preparation in the fields on pathogen distribution. The parameter estimates p and θ in the beta-binomial distribution and the index of dispersion (D) associated with the distribution were used to assess the aggregation of diseased plants at each site. A random pattern of wilt incidence was detected at 7 of 12 sites, and an aggregated pattern was detected at 5 of 12 sites. The degree of aggregation was not high. A regular pattern of wilt severity was detected at all sites. The high disease incidence (77 to 98%) observed at 11 of the 12 sites could be explained by high inoculum density.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society