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Overwintering and Aerobiology of Cercospora asparagi in North Carolina. C. J. Cooperman, Former Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7616. S. F. Jenkins, and C. W. Averre, Professors, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7616. Plant Dis. 70:392-394. Accepted for publication 8 November 1985. Copyright 1986 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-70-392.

Survival of Cercospora asparagi was studied in two asparagus fields at two locations in Sampson County, North Carolina, over the winters of 1984 and 1985. C. asparagi survived well from December to May in naturally infected stems of asparagus held 75 cm above the ground and at the soil surface; however, only trace amounts of the fungus could be found after February in samples buried 15 cm below the surface. Sanitation by plowing under debris will help reduce inoculum levels and improve disease control. The presence and quantity of airborne conidia of C. asparagi were monitored from April to November at both locations with a Burkard spore trap. Conidia were first collected in April, but the number of conidia trapped from April through late July remained low. The greatest concentration of airborne conidia occurred from 29 August to 5 September at the time of maximum disease. Incidence of trapped conidia followed a diurnal pattern with greatest detection between 1000 and 1300 hours. Lesions of Cercospora blight on the asparagus plantings first appeared in mid-June or July, but rapid disease progression, associated with the development of the asparagus canopy, did not occur until August and September.

Keyword(s): Asparagus officinalis.