Dispersal of Venturia inaequalis ascospores and disease gradients from a defined inoculum source

I.J. Holb, B. Heijne, J.C.M. Withagen, M.J. Jeger

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    Aerial concentration of ascospores of Venturia inaequalis and incidence of apple scab were monitored in an orchard during the ascospore release seasons in 1999, 2000 and 2001 on susceptible (Jonagold) and moderately resistant (Schone van Boskoop) apple cultivars. A 1-ha orchard was divided into an inoculum source block (approximately 0.34 ha) and an inoculum-free block (approximately 0.66 ha) where inoculum was excluded by covering the soil surface with polythene sheets. Ascospore numbers and disease incidence were measured within the inoculum-free block at different distances from the inoculum block. Ascospores were sampled with three Burkard volumetric spore traps located at 0, 21 and 45 m from the border of the inoculum block. To determine the incidence of infection, clusters of leaves were assessed at six distances from the border of the infected source from the time the first symptoms appeared. Each year, the aerial ascospore concentration significantly decreased with distance from the source, as did the incidence of infected clusters. Cultivar susceptibility to apple scab markedly influenced incidence of infected clusters and disease gradients. The effect of horizontal distance from the source was identifiable up to 18 m and 33 m for cv. Schone van Boskoop and cv. Jonagold, respectively, beyond which disease was negligible. The disease gradients for cultivar Jonagold in 1999, 2000 and 2001 were well described by an exponential model with gradient coefficients of -0.036, -0.042 and -0.047, respectively. The number of infected clusters at the source border for this cultivar differed significantly over the 3 years. A single exponential model with a gradient coefficient of -0.035 adequately described the disease gradients for cultivar Schone van Boskoop in each of the 3 years. Further analysis showed highly significant correlations (r > 0.85, P <0.01) between the annual cumulative spore catches and the annual mean number of infected leaf clusters in each year and for both cultivars. The aerobiological and epidemiological implications of these findings are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)639-646
    JournalJournal of Phytopathology
    Issue number11-12
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • combating apple scab
    • eradicant fungicides
    • aerial concentration
    • powdery mildew
    • wind
    • epidemics
    • orchards
    • release
    • conidia
    • spores


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