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Evaluation of the Burkard Cyclonic Spore Sampler for Collection Efficiency of Ascospores

December 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  12
Pages  1,249 - 1,252

Carrie Larson , Leonard J. Francl , and Timothy Friesen , Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105

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Accepted for publication 14 August 2001.

The commercially available Burkard cyclonic sampler takes in air volumetrically, creates a vortex in an aluminum cylinder, and deposits particulates in an Eppendorf vial. Retention within the cylinder was determined for ascospores released by cultures of Sordaria fimicola and Gibberella zeae. Manufacturer's recommended amperage level and reduced power were tested, and a surfactant was applied to the cylinder wall. Under recommended power, an average of 78% of the S. fimicola ascospores were collected in the vial, while 22% lodged inside the cylinder. Conversely, only 25% of the G. zeae ascospores were collected in the vial, while 75% remained lodged inside the cylinder. Application of a surfactant to reduce the adherence of ascospores on the cylinder wall, instead resulted in 83% of the S. fimicola ascospores and 99.7% of the G. zeae ascospores deposited on the cylinder wall. When the power supply was decreased from 200 mA to 140 mA, the ratio of ascospores of G. zeae retained by the sampler remained nearly the same, indicating that the retention error was not a function of airflow rate within the tested power range. However, the total number of ascospores collected was significantly less under reduced power. A 90-A/h (12 V) battery supplied greater than 150 mA when connected to the Burkard for 4 days at temperatures between 22 and 28°C and could maintain current above 190 mA for 7 days with a 21-W solar panel. A 21-W solar panel charging a 90-A/h battery should maintain the amperage needed for the Burkard to maintain proper flow rate in most environments. The aluminum cylinder should be rinsed out thoroughly when collecting samples of fungal ascospores or any other particulates with the propensity to adhere to the cylinder wall.

Additional keywords: aerobiology, disease forecasting

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society