Seasonal effect on infection and development of lesions caused by Cryphonectria parasitica in Castanea sativa
Seasonal variation in the development of chestnut blight, caused by Cryphonectria parasitica, was investigated by inoculating in situ chestnut trees and in vitro excised chestnut segments, at either monthly or 3-monthly intervals throughout 30 months. Inoculations were made with conidia and mycelium of a virulent isolate and with mycelium of a hypovirulent isolate. Conidial inoculations of living sprouts or excised segments between May and July resulted in the greatest incidence of infection whereas inoculations in autumn and winter, in vitro as well as in situ, did not reveal any visible disease. However, from these symptomless inoculated stems, C. parasitica was isolated 3 months after inoculation. Inoculations with the mycelium of the virulent isolate always resulted in lesions, except in January 1999, and the greatest rate of lesion development occurred for inoculations made in the spring and summer. There was a significant seasonal effect on lesion development. Lesions caused by the hypovirulent isolate, smaller than those caused by the virulent isolate, followed a similar seasonal pattern. The same seasonal variations were observed for inoculations in vitro of excised segments. Relative water content (RWC) of chestnut bark significantly varied with bark sampling date. The rate of lesion development in sprouts significantly correlated with average minimum (ATn) and maximum (ATx) temperatures and the sum of rainfall during inoculation period, with the rate of lesion development measured in excised segments 10 days after inoculation (R10d) and with RWC measured on the day of inoculation. In multiple regression models, variables ATx and R10d best explained variation in lesion development.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-08-01