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Quantifying the Rate of Release and Escape of Phytophthora infestans Sporangia from a Potato Canopy

December 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  12
Pages  1,189 - 1,196

Donald E. Aylor , William E. Fry , Hilary Mayton , and Jorge L. Andrade-Piedra

First author: Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven 06504; and second, third, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, 334 Plant Science Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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Accepted for publication 9 August 2001.

A means for determining the rate of release, Q (spores per square meter per second), of spores from a source of inoculum is paramount for quantifying their further dispersal and the potential spread of disease. Values of Q were obtained for Phytophthora infestans sporangia released from an area source of diseased plants in a potato canopy by comparing the concentrations of airborne sporangia measured at several heights above the source, with the concentrations predicted by a Lagrangian Stochastic simulation model. An independent estimate of Q was obtained by quantifying the number of sporangia per unit area of source at the beginning of each sampling day by harvesting diseased plant tissue and enumerating sporangia from these samples. This standing spore crop was the potential number of sporangia released per area of source during the day. The standing spore crop was apportioned into time segments corresponding to sporangia concentration measurement periods using the time trace of sporangia sampled above the source by a Burkard continuous suction spore sampler. This apportionment of the standing spore crop yielded potential release rates that were compared with modeled release rates. The two independent estimates of Q were highly correlated (P = 0.003), indicating that the model has utility for predicting release rates for P. infestans sporangia and the spread of disease between fields.

Additional keywords: atmospheric spore transport , disease forecasting , inoculum source strength , modeling , potato late blight , turbulence .

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society