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Ecology and Epidemiology

Effects of Soil Moisture, Temperature, and Field Environment on Survival of Sclerotium rolfsii in Alabama and North Carolina. M. K. Beute, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27650; R. Rodríguez-Kabana, professor, Department of Botany, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. Phytopathology 71:1293-1296. Accepted for publication 11 April 1981. Copyright 1981 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-71-1293.

Sclerotia of Sclerotium rolfsii survived in high numbers during the months of November 1977 through August 1978 in peanut fields in North Carolina. Viability of sclerotia produced in field soil ranged from 56 to 73% in field microplots after 8–10 mo of incubation. In growth chamber tests, survival of sclerotia was less at temperatures above 20 C in moist field soil than at 20 C or less. No adverse effect of temperature on sclerotial survival was observed in dry field soil. Mycelia of S. rolfsii rapidly died in moist field soil, but they survived for at least 6 mo in dry soil. S. rolfsii grew on peanut stems buried in field soil and produced new sclerotia. The presence of organic substrate and/or associated microorganisms was detrimental to survival of adjacent sclerotia.

Additional keywords: Arachis hypogaea, plant residue, southern stem rot.