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Production and Release of Asexual Sporangia in Plasmopara viticola

January 2013 , Volume 103 , Number  1
Pages  64 - 73

Tito Caffi, Giovanna Gilardi, Matteo Monchiero, and Vittorio Rossi

First and fourth authors: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Istituto di Entomologia e Patologia vegetale, I-29122 Via. E. Parmense 84, Piacenza, Italy; and second and third authors: Agroinnova, University of Torino, Via Leonardo da Vinci, 44, 100095 Grugliasco, Torino, Italy.

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Accepted for publication 27 August 2012.

To study the influence of environmental conditions on sporulation of Plasmopara viticola lesions under vineyard's conditions, unsprayed vines were inspected every second or third day and the numbers of sporulating and nonsporulating lesions were counted in two North Italy vineyards in 2008 to 2010. Infected leaves were removed so that only fresh lesions were assessed at each field assessment. Sporulation was studied at two scales, across field assessments and across the seasonal population of lesions. Frequencies of sporulating lesions were positively correlated with the numbers of moist hours in the preceding dark period (i.e., the number of hours between 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. with relative humidity ≥80%, rainfall >0 mm, or wetness duration >30 min). In a receiver operating characteristic analysis, predicted sporulation based on the occurrence of ≥3 moist hours at night provided overall accuracy of 0.85. To study the time course of sporulation on lesions which were not washed by rainfall, numbers of sporangia produced per square millimeter of lesion were estimated on individual cohorts of lesions over the whole infectious period. The numbers of sporangia per square millimeter of lesion increased rapidly during the first 4 days after the beginning of sporulation and then tapered off prior to a halt; the time course of cumulative sporangia production by a lesion followed a monomolecular growth model (R2 = 0.97). The total number of sporangia produced by a square millimeter of lesion increased as the maximum temperature decreased and moist hours in the dark increased. To study the release pattern of the sporangia, spore samplers were placed near grapevines with sporulating lesions. Airborne sporangia were caught in 91.2% of the days over a wide range of weather conditions, including rainless periods. The results of this study provide quantitative information on production of P. viticola sporangia that may help refine epidemiological models used as decision aids in grape disease management programs.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society