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Relative Contribution of Seed-Transmitted Inoculum to Foliar Populations of Phaeosphaeria nodorum

May 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  5
Pages  584 - 591

Rebecca S. Bennett , Michael G. Milgroom , Raazesh Sainudiin , Barry M. Cunfer , and Gary C. Bergstrom

First, second, and fifth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; third author: Department of Mathematics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; and fourth author, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Griffin 30223

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Accepted for publication 11 December 2006.

A marked-isolate, release-recapture experiment was conducted to assess the relative contributions of seed-transmitted (released isolates) versus all other inocula to foliar and grain populations of Phaeosphaeria nodorum in winter wheat rotated with nonsusceptible crops in New York and Georgia, United States. Seed infected with two distinct groups of marked isolates of P. nodorum containing rare alleles (identified by amplified fragment length polymorphisms [AFLPs]) and balanced for mating type were planted in experimental field plots in two locations in each state. Recapture was done by isolating P. nodorum from leaves showing necrotic lesions at spring tillering and flowering stages, and mature grains from spikes showing glume blotch. Isolates from these samples were genotyped by AFLPs and categorized as released or nonreleased to infer sources of inoculum. Both infected seed and other sources of the pathogen contributed significant primary inocula to populations recovered from leaves and harvested grain. Seed-transmitted genotypes accounted for a total of 57% of all isolates recovered from inoculated plots, with a range of 15 to 90% of the populations of P. nodorum collected over the season in individual, inoculated plots at the four locations. Plants in the noninoculated control plots also became diseased and 95% or more of the isolates recovered from these plots were nonreleased genotypes. Although other potential sources of P. nodorum within and adjacent to experimental plots were not ruled out, nonreleased genotypes likely were derived from immigrant ascospores potentially from sources at a considerable distance from the plots. Our results suggest that, although reduction of seedborne inoculum of P. nodorum may delay foliar epidemics, this strategy by itself is unlikely to result in high levels of control in eastern North America because of the additional contribution from alternative sources of inoculum.

Additional keywords: recombination, Stagonospora nodorum.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society