Department of Plant Pathology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu 96822-2279
Effect of temperature on leaf colonization in anthurium blight was studied using a bioluminescent strain of Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae. In a susceptible cultivar, colonization of leaf tissues (monitored by detection of bioluminescence) and symptom development (assessed visually) advanced rapidly at higher temperatures. For a susceptible cultivar, there was a linear relationship between degree-days and percent leaf area colonized by the pathogen, indicating that leaf colonization in a susceptible cultivar was a direct function of the cumulative effect of temperature. The degree-day intercept of the regression line represented the time from inoculation to detection of bioluminescence, and the slope indicated the increase of leaf colonization per degree-day. There also was a linear relationship between the logarithm of degree-days and the logarithm of percent leaf area showing visible symptoms in a susceptible cultivar. The degree-day intercept of this relationship represented the incubation period (about 500 degree-days). The degree-days required to detect bioluminescence was not considerably different between susceptible and resistant cultivars. However, the subsequent rates of leaf colonization were significantly lower for a resistant cultivar than for a susceptible cultivar in all temperature regimes. The results suggest that multiplication of the pathogen in the leaf tissues is optimized in the susceptible cultivar. In contrast, in the resistant cultivar, the defense mechanisms overshadow the temperature effect. The differential response to temperatures may be an additional indicator of cultivar susceptibility.