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Effect of Temperature, Wetness Duration, and Planting Density on Olive Anthracnose Caused by Colletotrichum spp.

October 2012 , Volume 102 , Number  10
Pages  974 - 981

Juan Moral, José Jurado-Bello, M. Isabel Sánchez, Rodrígues de Oliveira, and Antonio Trapero

First, second, third, and fifth authors: Departamento de Agronomía, ETSIAM, Universidad de Córdoba, Campus de Rabanales, Edif. C4, 14071 Córdoba, Spain; and fourth author: Faculdade de Ciências Agrarias, Universidade Agostinho Neto, 236 Huambo, Angola.

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Accepted for publication 15 June 2012.

The influence of temperature, wetness duration, and planting density on infection of olive fruit by Colletotrichum acutatum and C. simmondsii was examined in laboratory and field experiments. Detached olive fruit of ‘Arbequina’, ‘Hojiblanca’, and ‘Picual’ were inoculated with conidia of several isolates of the pathogen and kept at constant temperatures of 5 to 35°C in humid chambers. Similarly, potted plants and stem cuttings with fruit were inoculated and subjected to wetness periods of 0 to 48 h. Infection occurred at 10 to 25°C, and disease severity was greater and the mean latent period was shorter at 17 to 20°C. Overall, C. acutatum was more virulent than C. simmondsii at temperatures <25°C. When temperature was not a limiting factor, disease severity increased with the wetness period from 0 to 48 h. Disease severity was modeled as a function of temperature and wetness duration; two critical fruit incidence thresholds were defined as 5 and 20%, with wetness durations of 1.0 and 12.2 h at the optimum temperature. In the field, anthracnose epidemics progressed faster in a super-high-density planting (1,904 olive trees/ha) than in the high-density plantings (204 to 816 olive trees/ha) and caused severe epidemics in the super-high-density planting even with the moderately resistant Arbequina. Data in this study will be useful for the development of a forecasting system for olive anthracnose epidemics.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society