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Sources and seasonal dynamics of Alternaria inoculum associated with leaf blotch and fruit spot of apples

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Harteveld, D., Akinsanmi, O., Dullahide, S. and Drenth, A. (2014) Sources and seasonal dynamics of Alternaria inoculum associated with leaf blotch and fruit spot of apples. Crop Protection, 59 . pp. 35-42. ISSN 0261-2194

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2014.01.011


Alternaria leaf blotch and fruit spot caused by Alternaria spp. cause annual losses to the Australian apple industry. Control options are limited, mainly due to a lack of understanding of the disease cycle. Therefore, this study aimed to determine potential sources of Alternaria spp. inoculum in the orchard and examine their relative contribution throughout the production season. Leaf residue from the orchard floor, canopy leaves, twigs and buds were collected monthly from three apple orchards for two years and examined for the number of spores on their surface. In addition, the effects of climatic factors on spore production dynamics in each plant part were examined. Although all four plant parts tested contributed to the Alternaria inoculum in the orchard, significant higher numbers of spores were obtained from leaf residue than the other plant parts supporting the hypothesis that overwintering of Alternaria spp. occurred mainly in leaf residue and minimally on twigs and buds. The most significant period of spore production on leaf residue occurred from dormancy until bloom and on canopy leaves and twigs during the fruit growth stage. Temperature was the single most significant factor influencing the amount of Alternaria inoculum and rainfall and relative humidity showed strong associations with temperature influencing the spore production dynamics in Australian orchards. The practical implications of this study include the eradication of leaf residue from the orchard floor and sanitation of the canopy after harvest to remove residual spores from the trees.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Alternaria ; Epidemiology ; Fruit tree
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:01 Jul 2014 04:10
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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