Institute of Food and Agricultural Technology, CeRTACIDSAV, University of Girona, Av. Lluís Santaló s/n, 17071 Girona (Spain)
The capacity for germination and pathogenicity to pear leaves of ascospores of Pleospora allii, the teleomorph of Stemphylium vesicarium, causal agent of brown spot of pear, were studied in vitro. Most ascospores germinated within 1 h at temperatures between 15 and 20°C, and the optimum temperature for germination was 18.9°C. Infections developed on wounded and non-wounded detached pear leaves, but were more frequent on wounded leaves. The minimum infective dose was one ascospore per wound. Biological, chemical, and mechanical methods for decreasing overwintering inoculum of P. allii were evaluated. Ascospores were discharged from March to May, depending on the orchard and year. Leaf shredding or removal were the most effective methods of reducing overwintering inoculum. Biological control methods based on application of Thichodermasp. formulations were partially effective. Chemical methods based on copper and urea treatments were ineffective.