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Production of Didymella rabiei Pseudothecia and Dispersal of Ascospores in a Mediterranean Climate

November 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  11
Pages  1,279 - 1,286

E. Gamliel-Atinsky , D. Shtienberg , H. Vintal , Y. Nitzni , and A. Dinoor

First, second, third, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, ARO, the Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250; and fifth author: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel

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Accepted for publication 9 July 2005.

Temperature and wetness conditions required for development and maturation of Didymella rabiei pseudothecia were determined in a series of experiments conducted in controlled-environmental conditions. Initial stages of pseudothecium formation occurred at temperatures ranging from 5 to 15°C. Incubation at low temperatures was essential for subsequent pseudothecium maturation. This requirement was satisfied for chickpea stem segments incubated at 5 or 10°C for three consecutive weeks or during periods of 3 or 5 days, separated by periods at higher temperatures. Following the low-temperature requirement, subsequent pseudothecium development was independent of temperature in the range tested (5 to 20°C). Wetness was essential for pseudothecium production: pseudothecia formed and matured on stem segments maintained continuously wet but also on those exposed to periods of three or five wet days, separated by dry periods. The dispersal of D. rabiei ascospores was studied using chickpea plants as living traps in the field. Trap plants were infected mainly when exposed during rain but also in rainless periods. Results of this study enabled us to describe the developmental events leading to the production of the teleomorph stage and the dispersal of ascospores by D. rabiei in the Mediterranean climate of Israel.

Additional keywords: Ascochyta blight , Cicer arietinum , forecasting model , management .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society