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Infection of Commercial Hybrid Primula Seed by Botrytis cinerea and Latent Disease Spread Through the Plants

May 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  5
Pages  573 - 578

S. E. Barnes and M. W. Shaw

School of Plant Sciences, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AU, UK

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Accepted for publication 10 December 2002.

Botrytis cinerea occurred commonly on cultivated Primula ×polyantha seed. The fungus was mostly on the outside of the seed but sometimes was present within the seed. The fungus frequently caused disease at maturity in plants grown from the seed, demonstrated by growing plants in a filtered airflow, isolated from other possible sources of infection. Young, commercially produced P. ×polyantha plants frequently had symptomless B. cinerea infections spread throughout the plants for up to 3 months, with symptoms appearing only at flowering. Single genetic individuals of B. cinerea, as determined by DNA fingerprinting, often were dispersed widely throughout an apparently healthy plant. Plants could, however, contain more than one isolate.

Additional keywords: endophyte, gray mold, primrose, seed health, systemic.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society