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Practical methods for estimating the infection rate of Quercus robur acorn seedlots by Ciboria batschiana

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The pathogenic fungus, Ciboria batschiana infects acorns prior to fall collection and if they are not freed of the fungus by thermotherapy seedlots can suffer serious losses during subsequent storage. However, since thermotherapy is time-consuming and expensive, and sometimes has undesirable side-effects, its use is not justified without knowing if and how intensively a seedlot is infected. It is demonstrated here that typical lesions on the surface of the cotyledons are a reliable indicator of infection by C. batschiana and that a method based on mycelium development on incubated cotyledons allows C. batschiana infection levels to be determined within 1–2 weeks. There were no significant differences in estimated C. batschiana infection levels between the visual assessment of the lesions before the incubation and the visual assessment of outgrowing mycelium from these lesions after the incubation. Using one or both of the described methods a decision can be made on the necessity for thermotherapy of acorn seedlots, i.e. before nursery sowing or long-term, cold storage. The test based on mycelium development on incubated cotyledons can also be used for quality control following thermotherapy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Federal Biological Research Centre, Institute for Plant Protection in Forests, Messeweg 11/12, D-38104 Braunschweig, Germany 2: Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, Research Station Uherské Hradiště, 68604 Kunovice, Czech Republik 3: Consultant, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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