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Survival of Oospores of Phytophthora capsici in Soil

November 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  11
Pages  1,478 - 1,483

M. Babadoost and C. Pavon, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801

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Accepted for publication 9 May 2013.

This study assessed survival of Phytophthora capsici oospores in soil in Illinois. Soils differing in texture and other characteristics were collected from four Illinois Counties (Champaign, Gallatin, Madison, and Tazewell), equilibrated to –0.3 MPa, and infested with oospores of P. capsici at a density of 5 × 103 oospores/g of dry soil. Samples (25 g) of the infested soil were placed in 15-μm mesh polyester bags, which were sealed and placed at 2-, 10-, and 25-cm depths in 15.3-cm-diameter PVC tubes containing the same field soil as the infested bags. Tubes were buried vertically in the ground at the University of Illinois Vegetable Research Farm in Champaign in October 2004. Soil samples were assayed for recovery and germination of oospores 1 day and 3, 6, 12, 24, 30, 36, and 48 months after incorporation of oospores into the soil. Overall, the percentage of oospore recovery and the percentage of germination of oospores were not affected significantly by soil source and burial depth but both the oospore recovery and oospore germination were significantly (P = 0.001) affected by the duration of oospore burial. The rate of oospore recovery from soil samples was 61.06, 16.69, 10.28, 1.05, 0.30, 0.06, 0.05, and 0.004% after 1 day and 3, 6, 12, 24, 30, 36, and 48 months, respectively, following incorporation of oospores into the soil; and mean oospore germination was 47.17, 30.53, 21.33, 15.64, 7.42, 2.67, 2.61, and 0.00%, respectively. Survival of P. capsici oospores was compared in soil samples stored in a laboratory at 22°C versus on the soil surface or buried 2, 10, or 25 cm deep in a field. Oospores were recovered 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after incorporation for both storage locations. The percentage of oospores recovered from samples stored in the laboratory was significantly (P = 0.004) greater than recovery from samples stored in the field, regardless of the depth of burial. Twenty-four months after incorporation of oospores, 26.52% of oospores were recovered from soil samples in the laboratory, whereas only 0.12% of oospores were recovered from soil samples in the field. Overall, the percentages of germination of oospores recovered from samples in the laboratory and field over 24 months were not significantly different. In both experiments, germinated oospores produced mycelia, sporangia, and zoospores, and were virulent on ‘California Wonder’ bell pepper. This study showed that oospores of P. capsici can survive and remain virulent in Illinois soils for more than 36 months but oospores were no longer viable after 48 months in soil in a field environment.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society