Comparative studies on the disease prevalence and population dynamics of ginger blotch and brown blotch pathogens of button mushrooms

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Abstract

Introduction: Bacterial blotch is one of the most economically important diseases of button mushrooms. Knowledge on mechanisms of disease expression, inoculum thresholds and disease management is limited to the most-well known pathogen, Pseudomonas tolaasii. Recent outbreaks in Western Europe have been attributed to ‘P. gingeri’ and P. salomonii for ginger and brown blotch, respectively, although information on their identity, infection dynamics and pathogenicity is largely lacking. Methods: The disease pressure in an experimental mushroom cultivation facility was evaluated for ‘P. gingeri’ and P. salomonii over varying inoculation densities, casing soil types, environmental humidity and cultivation cycles. The pathogen population structures in the casing soils were simultaneously tracked across the cropping cycle using highly specific and sensitive TaqmanTM-qPCR assays. Results: ‘P. gingeri’ caused disease outbreaks at lower inoculum thresholds (104 cfu/g) in the soil than P. salomonii (105 cfu/g). Ginger blotch generically declined in later harvest cycles, although brown blotch did not. Casing soils were differentially suppressive to blotch diseases, based on their composition and supplementation. Endemic pathogen populations increased across the cultivation cycle although the inoculated pathogen populations were consistent between the 1st and 2nd flush. Conclusion: ‘P. gingeri’ and P. salomonii have unique infection and population dynamics, that vary over soil types. Their endemic populations are also differently abundant in peat-based casing soils. This knowledge is essential to interpret diagnostic results from screening mushroom farms and design localized disease control strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Disease
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2021

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