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Impact of Diurnal Periodicity, Temperature, and Light on Sporulation of Bremia lactucae

August 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  8
Pages  979 - 986

Berit Nordskog , David M. Gadoury , Robert C. Seem , and Arne Hermansen

First author: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, N-1432 Ås, Norway; second and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva 14456; and fourth author: Bioforsk--Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Plant Health and Plant Protection Division, Høgskoleveien 7, N-1432 Ås, Norway.

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Accepted for publication 3 April 2007.

We evaluated direct and interactive effects of light quality and intensity, temperature and light, diurnal rhythms, and timing of high relative humidity during long day lengths on sporulation of Bremia lactucae, the causal agent of lettuce downy mildew, using inoculated lettuce seedlings and detached cotyledons. Suppression of sporulation by light was strongly dependent upon temperature and there was little suppression at ≤10°C. The most suppressive waveband was in the range from 400 to 450 nm, although a lesser effect of wavebands from 450 to 500 and 500 to 550 nm could be detected. At 15°C, near the lower threshold for suppression of sporulation by light, a clear diurnal pattern of sporulation was observed independent of light and darkness. This diurnal rhythm potentially could interact with light and temperature to confound the results of controlled environment studies, and may be the controlling factor in timing of sporulation at low temperatures. Forecasting models that currently use sunrise and sunset to delimit periods conducive to sporulation can be adapted to short nights and extended twilight conditions by incorporating the effects reported herein. Additionally, models of sporulation could be adapted to better reflect a decrease or absence of the suppressive effect of light at <15°C.

Additional keywords: circadian rhythm .

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society