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Puccinia jaceae var. solstitialis Teliospore Priming on Yellow Starthistle

January 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  1
Pages  67 - 72

A. J. Fisher, B. J. Aegerter, T. R. Gordon, L. Smith, and D. M. Woods

First and fourth authors: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 800 Buchanan, Albany, CA 94710; second author: University of California Cooperative Extension, 420 S. Wilson Way, Stockton 95205; third author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616; and fifth author: California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento 95832.

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Accepted for publication 19 September 2008.

Following the introduction of Puccinia jaceae var. solstitialis to California for biological control of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, Asteraceae), teliospores, pycnia, and multiple urediniospore generations have been observed in the field. Because urediniospores have a relatively short life span in the field, functioning teliospores are expected to be necessary for the permanent establishment of P. jaceae var. solstitialis in California. To determine if conditions in California were conducive to this, teliospore emergence and priming were evaluated in the field. A factorial experiment in the laboratory with five incubation times and three incubation temperatures was used to determine teliospore priming requirements. Teliospore production coincided with plant senescence in August and September at two sites in 2 years; fewer teliospores were produced in 2006, suggesting inconsistent teliospore production may limit population growth and contribute to local extinctions in some areas. When teliospores were primed in the field, germination was low through the fall and abruptly peaked in January during both years. In the laboratory, teliospore germination increased as incubation time increased from 2 to 6 weeks and temperatures decreased from 12 to 4°C. A degree-hour model derived from laboratory data accurately predicts when teliospores are primed for germination in the field. Based on the results obtained in this study, it is apparent that teliospore germination can occur over a range of priming conditions. However, lower temperatures and longer incubation periods are superior in breaking teliospore dormancy.

Additional keywords:rust fungi, thermal time.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2009