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Influence of Temperature and Leaf Wetness Duration on Infection of Strawberry Leaves by Mycosphaerella fragariae

October 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  10
Pages  1,120 - 1,125

O. Carisse , G. Bourgeois , and J. A. Duthie

First and second authors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Horticultural Research Development Centre, 430 Gouin Blvd., Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada, J3B 3E6; and third author: Department of Plant Pathology, Wes Warkins Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Oklahoma State University, Lane 74555

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Accepted for publication 9 June 2000.

In controlled environment studies, the influence of temperature and wetness duration on infection of strawberry leaves by Mycosphaerella fragariae was quantified by inoculating plants with a conidial suspension and incubating them at various combinations of temperature (5 to 35°C) and leaf wetness duration (0 to 96 h). Infection was expressed as the number of lesions per square centimeter of leaf surface and relative infection was used to develop an infection model. Younger leaves were more susceptible to infection. Regardless of temperature and duration of leaf wetness, only few lesions developed on the oldest (19 to 21 days old) and intermediate leaves (12 to 15 days old), respectively (maximum of 1.7 and 2.3 lesions per cm2) as compared to the youngest leaves (5 to 7 days old; maximum of 12.6 lesions per cm2). On the youngest leaves, lesions developed at all temperatures except at 35°C, and the number of lesions, for all leaf wetness durations, increased gradually from 5 to 25°C and decreased sharply from 25 to 30°C. For temperatures of 15 and 20°C, the number of lesions increased gradually when leaf wetness duration increased from 12 to 96 h. At 25°C, the number of lesions increased with increasing leaf wetness from 12 to 48 h and then at a higher rate from 48 to 96 h. The optimal temperature for infection was 25°C. For most temperatures, a minimum of 12 h of leaf wetness was necessary for infection (more than 1 lesion per cm2). Relative infection was modeled as a function of both temperature and wetness duration using a modified version of the Weibull equation (R 2 = 0.98). The resulting equations provided a precise description of the response of M. fragariae to temperature. The model was sufficiently flexible to account for most characteristics of the response of M. fragariae to wetness duration. The model was used to construct a risk chart that can be used to estimate the potential risk for infection based on observed or forecasted temperature and leaf wetness duration.

Additional keywords: common leaf spot, disease management, disease modeling.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society