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Early Blight of Celery: Analysis of Disease Spread in Florida. R. D. Berger, Associate Professor, (Associate Plant Pathologist), University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Belle Glade 33430; Phytopathology 63:1161-1165. Accepted for publication 17 March 1973. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-63-1161.

Disease incidence and weather during periods of spore formation and release influenced the number of Cercospora apii spores trapped. Daytime cloudiness and rain reduced the numbers of spores trapped. Light rain in late afternoon or early morning lengthened the leaf wetness period and increased spore numbers. Wind did not figure prominently in spore detachment. Celery harvesting over-rode the aforementioned factors, with unusually high spore counts occurring during this period. Blight-infected transplants resulted in higher daily spore counts, higher disease incidence throughout the growing season, required more time to reach harvest maturity, and yields lower than those produced by blight-free transplants. The number of spores trapped each day could be used to predict disease increase and thus, could be extrapolated for spray application recommendations.

Additional keywords: epidemiology.