Link to home

Development of MILIONCAST, an Improved Model for Predicting Downy Mildew Sporulation on Onions

July 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  7
Pages  695 - 702

Tijs Gilles , Kath Phelps , John P. Clarkson , and Roy Kennedy , Warwick HRI, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire CV35 9EF, UK

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 30 January 2004.

The effects of temperature and relative humidity on Peronospora destructor sporulation on onion (Allium cepa) leaves were studied under controlled environmental conditions. Sporangia were produced most rapidly at 8 to 12°C after 5 h of high humidity during dark periods. The greatest number of sporangia was produced at 100% relative humidity (RH), and sporulation decreased to almost nil when humidity decreased to 93% RH. A model, named MILIONCAST (an acronym for MILdew on onION foreCAST), was developed based on the data from these controlled environment studies to predict the rate of sporulation in relation to temperature and relative humidity. The accuracy of prediction of sporulation was evaluated by comparing predictions with observations of sporulation on infected plants in pots outdoors. The accuracy of MILIONCAST was compared with the accuracy of existing models based on DOWNCAST. MILIONCAST gave more correct predictions of sporulation than the DOWNCAST models and a random model. All models based on DOWNCAST were more accurate than the random model when compared on the basis of all predictions (including positive and negative predictions), but they gave fewer correct predictions of sporulation than the random model. De Visser's DOWNCAST and ONIMIL improved their accuracy of prediction of sporulation events when the threshold humidity for sporulation was reduced to 92% RH. The temporal pattern of predicted sporulation by MILIONCAST generally corresponded well to the pattern of sporulation observed on the outdoor potted plants at Wellesbourne, UK.

Additional keywords: disease forecasting, disease management, modeling, Peronosporales, spore production

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society