Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801
Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University, Bozeman 59717
United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service, Foreign Disease and Weed Science Research Unit, Fort Detrick, MD 21702
This study was conducted to assess survival of Tilletia indica teliospores in a location in the northern United States. Soils differing in texture and other characteristics were collected from four locations, equilibrated to -0.3 MPa, and infested with teliospores of T. indica to give a density of 103 teliospores per gram of dry soil. Samples (22 g) of the infested soil were placed in 20-μm mesh polyester bags, which were sealed and placed at 2-, 10-, and 25-cm depths in polyvinyl chloride tubes containing the same field soil as the infested bags. Tubes were buried vertically in the ground at Bozeman, MT, in October 1997. Soil samples were assayed for recovery and germination of T. indica teliospores 1 day and 8, 20, and 32 months after incorporation of teliospores into soil. The rates of teliospores recovered from soil samples were 90.2, 18.7, 16.1, and 13.3% after 1 day and 8, 20, and 32 months after incorporation of teliospores into soil, respectively, and was significantly (P < 0.01) affected by soil source. The percentage of teliospore recovery from soil was the greatest in loam soil and lowest from a silt loam soil. The rate of teliospores recovered from soil was not significantly affected by depth of burial and the soil source-depth interaction during the 32-month period. The percentage of germination of teliospores was significantly (P < 0.01) affected by soil source and depth of burial over the 32-month period. The mean percentage of teliospore germination at 1 day, and 8, 20, and 32 months after incorporation into soils was 51.3, 15.1, 16.4, and 16.5%, respectively. In another experiment, samples of silty clay loam soil with 5 × 103 teliospores of T. indica per gram of soil were stored at different temperatures in the laboratory. After 37 months of incubation at 22, 4, -5, and -18°C, the rates of teliospore recovered from soil were 1.6, 2.0, 5.7, and 11.3%, respectively. The percentage of spore germination from soil samples was highest at -5°C. Microscopy studies revealed that disintegration of teliospores begin after breakdown of the sheath-covering teliospore. The results of this study showed that teliospores of T. indica can survive in Montana for more than 32 months and remain viable.