Link to home

Infective Potential of Sporangia and Zoospores of Phytophthora ramorum

January 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  1
Pages  30 - 35

T. L. Widmer, Foreign Disease and Weed Science Research Unit, USDA/ARS, 1301 Ditto Avenue, Fort Detrick, MD 21702

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 17 September 2008.

Phytophthora species produce sporangia that either germinate directly or release zoospores, depending upon environmental conditions. Previous Phytophthora spp. inoculation trials have used both sporangia and zoospores as the inoculum type. However, it is unknown what impact propagule type has on disease. Rhododendron leaf disks were inoculated with P. ramorum zoospores (75, 500, or 2,400 per disk), sporangia (75 per disk), or sporangia plus trifluoperazine hydrochloride (TFP) (75 per disk), a chemical that inhibits zoospore formation. Combining results from two different isolates, the highest concentration of zoospores (2,400 per disk) induced a significantly higher percentage of necrotic leaf disk area (96.6%) than sporangia (87.6%) and 500 zoospores per disk (88.7%). The sporangia plus TFP treatment had the lowest necrosis at 47.5%. Rooted rhododendron cuttings had a higher percentage of necrotic leaves per plant when inoculated with zoospores (3,000 or 50,000 per ml) or cysts (50,000 per ml) than with sporangia (3,000 per ml) with or without TFP. The percentage of necrotic leaf area was significantly higher when cysts or zoospores were inoculated at 50,000 per ml than sporangia without TFP and zoospores at 3,000 per ml. All treatments were significantly higher in the percentage of necrotic leaf area than the leaves treated with sporangia plus TFP. This demonstrates that the full inoculum potential may not be achieved when sporangia are used as the inoculum propagule.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2009