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Comparison of Rain Effects on Splash Dispersal of Three Colletotrichum Species Infecting Strawberry

July 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  7
Pages  555 - 563

N. Ntahimpera , L. L. Wilson , M. A. Ellis , and L. V. Madden

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

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Accepted for publication 25 March 1999.

Rain simulation studies were performed to compare splash dispersal of three Colletotrichum species: C. acutatum (C. acutatum-O isolate from Ohio and C. acutatum-M isolate from Mississippi), C. fragariae (isolate from Mississippi), and C. gloeosporioides (isolate from Florida). Conidial dispersal was assessed by counting colonies formed from spore-bearing splash droplets deposited in sheltered petri plates containing a selective medium. Colonies were converted to number of conidia based on germination rates of spores on the media. The interpolated total number of dispersed conidia over a 61 min rain and 72 cm from the point source (Σ) was calculated. For all species, a rain intensity of 30-mm/h resulted in significantly greater dispersal than an intensity of 11-mm/h. C. fragariae had the lowest amount of spore dispersal, and C. acutatum-O had the highest dispersal. C. acutatum-M and C. gloeosporioides were intermediate in magnitude of conidial splash dispersal. However, differences were directly attributed to differences in spore density per fruit at the source. When Σ was corrected for source strength (Σr), the species were very similar, with only C. acutatum-M having a mean Σr significantly less than the others. Proportions and rates of spore removal (per minute) from source fruits were higher for C. acutatum-O and C. gloeosporioides than for other isolates. Wash-off rates of conidia deposited on healthy fruits were the same for all species. Deposition flux density of spores that had been uniformly sprayed over the entire soil surface of the experimental area was affected by species. A significant difference in means was observed between C. acutatum and C. fragariae—the latter had a somewhat lower flux density. This is the first demonstration that closely related species infecting the same plant species are similar in terms of splash dispersal.

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

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society