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Epidemiology of Cercospora Leaf Spot on Sugar Beet: Modeling Disease Dynamics Within and Between Individual Plants

December 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  12
Pages  1,550 - 1,557

J. Vereijssen, J. H. M. Schneider, and M. J. Jeger

First and second authors: IRS (Institute of Sugar Beet Research), P.O. Box 32, 4600 AA, Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands; third author: Division of Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Wye Campus, Wye, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5AH, UK.

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Accepted for publication 19 July 2007.

Disease dynamics of Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) of sugar beet was analyzed at two hierarchical scales: as vertical profiles within individual plants and in relation to disease on neighboring plants. The relative contribution of different leaf layers to increase in CLS was analyzed using a simple continuous-time model. The model was fitted to data from two field trials in the Netherlands: one in an area with a long history of CLS, the other in an area where CLS has only recently established; in each case these were unsprayed and twice-sprayed treatments. There were differences in the relative contribution of different leaf layers to disease increase on the target leaf layer according to the CLS history and whether the plants were sprayed or unsprayed. In both field trials, parameter estimates giving the relative contribution of the target leaf layer to disease increase at that leaf layer were higher than those for the lower leaf layer. On only a few occasions the contribution of an upper leaf layer to disease increase at the target leaf layer was significant. Thus, CLS increase at the target leaf layer was determined mainly by disease severity at that leaf layer and to a lesser extent by disease at the lower leaf layer. Our continuous-time model was also used to analyze CLS increase on an individual sugar beet plant in relation to its own and its neighbor's level of disease in field trials at five locations in the two CLS areas over two years. In all field trials, the contribution of the target plant itself to disease increase (auto-infection) was larger than that of its neighboring plants (allo-infection). The overall analysis in the two CLS areas also indicated a larger contribution of the target plant to its disease increase than of neighboring plants, and this pattern was also apparent in a pooled analysis across all sites. Thus, CLS increase on a sugar beet plant was mainly determined by the disease severity on that plant and to a lesser extent by its within-row neighboring plants.

Additional keywords:Beta vulgaris, between plant disease dynamics, Cercospora beticola, within-plant disease dynamics.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society