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Survival of Tilletia indica Teliospores in Different Soils

April 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  4
Pages  316 - 324

M. R. Bonde , D. K. Berner , S. E. Nester , and G. L. Peterson , USDA-ARS, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit, Fort Detrick, MD 21702-5023 ; M. W. Olsen , Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210036, Tucson 85721-0036 ; B. M. Cunfer , University of Georgia, Griffin 30223-1797 ; and T. Sim , Kansas Department of Agriculture, Topeka 66619-0282

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Accepted for publication 24 November 2003.

To determine the potential for Tilletia indica, cause of Karnal bunt of wheat, to survive and become established in new areas, a teliospore longevity study was initiated in Kansas, Maryland, Georgia, and Arizona. Soil from each location was infested with T. indica teliospores and placed in polyester mesh bags. The bags were placed within soil from the same location within polyvinyl chloride pipes. Pipes were buried in the respective plots such that the bags were at 5-, 10-, and 25-cm depths. Each pipe was open at the ends to allow interaction with the outside environment, however fitted with screens preventing possibility of teliospore escape. In the Karnal bunt-quarantine area of Arizona, bags of infested soil also were placed outside the pipes. Teliospore-infested soil from each location was maintained dry in a laboratory. During the first 2 years, viability declined more rapidly in pipes than outside pipes, and more rapidly in fields in Kansas and Maryland than in Georgia or Arizona. After 2 years, viability declined nearly equally. In the laboratory over 3 years, viability decreased significantly more rapidly in dry soil from Kansas or Maryland than in dry soil from Georgia or Arizona, while pure teliospores remained unchanged. We hypothesized that soils, irrespective of weather, affect teliospore longevity

Additional keywords: Allee effect, pathogen containment

The American Phytopathological Society, 2004