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Ecology and Epidemiology

Effect of Temperature and Relative Humidity on Germination and Germ Tube Development of Mycosphaerella fijiensis var. difformis. L. H. Jacome, Graduate student, Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, PA 16802; W. Schuh, and R. E. Stevenson. Assistant professor, and Senior research assistant, respectively, Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, PA 16802. Phytopathology 81:1480-1485. Accepted for publication 30 July 1991. Copyright 1991 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-81-1480.

Conidia (three isolates) and ascospores (one isolate) of Mycosphaerella fijiensis var. difformis germinated at 2035 C. Germination followed a quadratic response function on temperature (R2 = 0.900.98), with an estimated optimum at 26.5 C. Maximum germination was observed in free-water and decreased at lower relative humidities (RH). Conidia germinated over a wider range of RH (92100%) than ascospores (98100%). Ascospores germinated earlier than conidia. The highest number of germ tubes per conidium was at 25 C for two isolates and at 30 C for the third isolate in free-water after 24 h. The number decreased at lower RH. Maximum length of germ tubes from ascospores occurred at 30 C (9195 ?m) followed by 25 C (6875 ?m), with an estimated optimum at 27.7 C. Germ tube length was similar at 100% RH and in free-water, but decreased at lower RH. Differences among the isolates and the possibility of some degree of natural variability in the response of the fungus to environmental factors are discussed.

Additional keywords: adaption, Black Sigatoka, disease management.