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Effect of Inoculum Concentration and Calcium Salts on Infection of Apple Fruit by Botryosphaeria dothidea

February 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  2
Pages  147 - 151

Alan R. Biggs , West Virginia University, Kearneysville Tree Fruit Research and Education Center, P.O. Box 609, Kearneysville 25430

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Accepted for publication 2 September 2003.

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of calcium salts on growth of Botryosphaeria dothidea and incidence of white rot. The relative virulence of five B. dothidea isolates was determined using the apple cultivars Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Liberty, and York. Cultivar and isolate differences in lesion diameter were significant. Cultivar differences occurred between Fuji, which was most susceptible, and Gala, which was least susceptible. Isolates PA-1 and PA-2 were most virulent. Isolate PA-4 was used at conidia concentrations of 1 × 104, 1 × 105, 1 × 106, and 1 × 107 conidia per ml on Golden Delicious fruit to test the effects of four inoculum concentrations on fruit infection by B. dothidea. Incidence of infection on detached, nonwounded fruit increased as inoculum concentration increased. The effects of four calcium salts on infection of wounded fruit by conidia were examined in field and laboratory experiments. In the field experiments, lesion size was slightly reduced on fruit treated with either calcium hydroxide or calcium silicate after wounding and prior to inoculation with conidia of B. dothidea, whereas lesions that developed at wounds treated with calcium chloride or calcium propionate were similar to those of the control. In the laboratory experiments, in several instances supplementation with calcium salts resulted in increased lesion diameter relative to the control. Two of five isolates tested showed increased percent germination with all four calcium salts, and one isolate showed increased germination in the presence of two of the four calcium salts. Germ tube elongation was not affected by calcium salts for four out of five isolates tested. There was significant variation among isolates and calcium salts on the growth of B. dothidea in liquid culture. Calcium chloride and calcium hydroxide enhanced the growth of three isolates and had no effect on the other three isolates. Calcium propionate inhibited the growth of four isolates and had no effect on the other two isolates. Calcium silicate inhibited the growth of one isolate and had no effect on the other five isolates.

Additional keywords: black rot, bot rot, Botryosphaeria obtusa

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society