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Quantitative and Molecular Epidemiology of Bacterial Blight of Onion in Seed Production Fields

December 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  12
Pages  1,345 - 1,354

L. Humeau , P. Roumagnac , Y. Picard , I. Robène-Soustrade , F. Chiroleu , L. Gagnevin , and O. Pruvost

First, second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh authors: research plant pathologists, and fifth author: statistician CIRAD, UMR Peuplements Végétaux et Bioagresseurs en Milieu Tropical CIRAD-Université de la Réunion, Pôle de Protection des Plantes, 7, chemin de l'Irat, 97410 Saint Pierre, La Réunion, France

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Accepted for publication 7 July 2006.

Onion, a biennial plant species, is threatened by the emerging, seed-borne, and seed-transmitted Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii. Bacterial blight epidemics were monitored in seed production fields over two seasons. Temporal disease progress was different between the two seasons, with final incidence ranging from 0.04 to 0.06 in 2003 and from 0.44 to 0.61 in 2004. The number of hours with temperatures above 24°C was the best descriptor for predicting the number of days after inoculation for bacterial blight development on inoculated plants. Fitting the β-binomial distribution and binary power law analysis indicated aggregated patterns of disease incidence data. The β-binomial distribution was superior to the binomial distribution for 97% of the examined data sets. Spatial dependency ranged from 5.9 to 15.2 m, as determined by semivariance analysis. Based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis, it was concluded that plots predominantly were infected by the inoculated haplotype. A single other haplotype was identified by AFLP in all plots over the 2 years, and its detection in the field always followed wind-driven rains. X. axonopodis pv. allii-contaminated seed were detected by semiselective isolation and a nested polymerase chain reaction assay at levels up to 0.05% when final disease incidence was 0.61. Contaminated seed originated from both diseased and asymptomatic plants.

Additional keywords: AFLP typing, quadrat size, seed contamination.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society