S. O. Prasher,
C. Beaulieu, and
D. L. Smith
First, second, and fifth authors: Department of Plant Science, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada; first and third authors: Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada; and fourth author: Département de biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Boulevard de l'Université, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada.
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Accepted for publication 11 June 2008.
Common scab caused by Streptomyces scabies is a major bacterial disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum). Its best known symptom is superficial lesions on the surface of progeny potato tubers, observed at harvesting. In this study, effects of S. scabies on space occupancy by underground organs and on structural complexity of root systems are investigated during growth via computed tomography (CT) scanning. Two groups of potato plants were grown in a greenhouse in middle-sized plastic pots. Using a high-resolution X-ray CT scanner formerly used for medical applications, their underground organs and surrounding medium (sieved and autoclaved homogeneous sand) were submitted to CT scanning 4, 6, and 8 weeks after planting. For one group, sand was inoculated with the common scab-inducing pathogen (S. scabies EF-35) at potting. Space occupancy by underground organs was estimated via curve fitting applied to histograms of CT scan data, while three-dimensional skeletal images were used for fractal analysis. Root systems of diseased plants were found to be less complex than those of healthy plants 4 weeks after planting, and the relative growth rates derived from space occupancy measures were of different sign between the two groups from week 4 to week 8.
Additional keywords:fractal dimension, seed potato.
© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society