Rutgers University, Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 121 Northville Road, Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Twigs with constriction cankers were pruned from a Prunus persica ‘Jerseyglo’ orchard and placed in incubators under high humidity (>95%) at constant temperatures of −6, 1, 10, 17, 24, 31, 38, and 45°C. Cankers were removed for observation after 2, 6, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h incubation. Sporulation was expressed as the percentage of pycnidia producing cirri and the number of conidia per pycnidium or canker. The experiment was first performed during 1998 to 1999 and then repeated in 1999 to 2000 and 2000 to 2001. Sporulation was modeled by fitting the Richards function to each dependent variable with duration of high relative humidity as the independent variable. The asymptote and rate parameters of the Richards model were expressed as Gaussian and quadratic functions of temperature, respectively. Models created from the first two experimental repetitions were validated by statistical comparison to those created independently from the third repetition. When models were fit to the pooled data, temperature and moisture described 69 to 80% of the variation in sporulation. The models specified a temperature ranging from 0 to 37°C (optimum temperatures for cirri formation and conidia production range from 19 to 20 and 22 to 23°C, respectively), and the majority of sporulation occurred between 16 and 48 h from initiation of the high humidity period. These results show that the environmental criteria for sporulation coincide with those that prolong the susceptibility of infection courts during fall and spring.