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Spatiotemporal Analysis of Epiphytotics of Downy Mildew of Oilseed Poppy in Tasmania, Australia

June 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  6
Pages  752 - 757

J. B. Scott , F. S. Hay , C. R. Wilson , P. J. Cotterill , and A. J. Fist

First, second, and third authors: Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania-North West Centre, P.O. Box 447, Burnie, Tasmania 7320, Australia; fourth author: GlaxoSmithKline, P.O. Box 189, Latrobe, Tasmania 7307, Australia; and fifth author: Tasmanian Alkaloids, P.O. Box 130, Westbury, Tasmania 7303, Australia

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Accepted for publication 27 December 2002.

Downy mildew, caused by Peronospora arborescens, has become the major disease affecting oilseed poppy (Papaver somniferum) since its first record in Tasmania in 1996. Two field trials conducted in 2000 and 2001 studied the progression and spatial distribution of downy mildew epiphytotics. The logistic and exponential models best described the progression of disease incidence and severity, respectively. Incidence and severity increased rapidly following canopy closure. In 2001, incidence increased from 0.16%, prior to canopy closure, to 100% at late flowering (40 days). Spatial analyses of epiphytotics were conducted by fitting the beta-binomial and binomial distributions, median runs analysis, and the spatial analysis by distance indices. All analyses demonstrated that the distribution of incidence and severity was strongly spatially aggregated from canopy closure until at least late flowering. These results suggest that secondary spread from a few primary infections is the major factor in epiphytotics.

Additional Keyword: quantitative epidemiology.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society