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Dynamics of Cercospora leaf spot disease determined by aerial spore dispersal in artificially inoculated sugar beet fields

  • Autor/in: Imbusch, F., S. Liebe, T. Erven, M. Varrelmann
  • Jahr: 2021
  • Zeitschrift: Plant Pathology
  • Seite/n: doi.org/10.1111/ppa.13337
  • Stichworte: Cercospora beticola, disease development, spatiotemporal dispersal, spore trap, spore flight


Cercospora beticola is one of the most important fungal pathogen in sugar beet causing Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) disease. Due to decreasing efficacies of various fungicide caused by resistance traits, the development of a sustainable disease management strategy becomes more important. Therefore, detailed knowledge about the epidemiology of the pathogen is crucial. Until now, little is known about the spatiotemporal dispersal of C. beticola spores from the primary inoculum source. Rapid detection of C. beticola spores could facilitate a more precise and targeted disease control. Therefore, a TaqMan real-time PCR assay for detection and quantification of C. beticola spores caught with Rotorod spore traps was established. In 2016 and 2017, field trials were conducted to monitor C. beticola aerial spore dispersal and disease development within an inoculated field and in the adjacent non-inoculated area. With the established detection method, C. beticola spores were successfully quantified and used as a measure for aerial spore dispersal intensity. The analysis of the spatiotemporal spread of C. beticola spores revealed a delay and decrease of aerial spore dispersal with increasing distance from the inoculated area. Consequently, disease incidence and severity were reduced in a similar manner. These results imply that spore dispersal occurs mainly on a small scale within a field although long distances can be also overcome by C. beticola spores. Moreover, secondary aerial spore dispersal from sporulating leaf spots seems to be the main driver for CLS disease development. These results provide an important basis for further improvement of CLS control strategies.
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