AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

The epidemiology and control of Leptosphaeria maculans cause of Crucifer Blackleg, in KwaZulu-Natal.

by Mark Delmege. Laing

Institution: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Department: Plant pathology
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: Plant pathology.
Record ID: 1440688
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10413/11861


The perfect stage of Leptosphaeria maculans is reported for the first time in South Africa. Viable pseudothecia and pycnidia were found on dead, weathered tissue, sometimes in close association, whereas only pycnidia were found on live tissue. Some seedlots of imported cabbage seed were found to be internally infected with L. maculans at low levels and Alternaria brassicicola at higher levels. Fungicides iprodione (dicarboximide), triforine and propiconazole (sterol-biosynthesis inhibitor) eliminated both pathogens from infected seed. In a field trial of eight cabbage and two cauliflower cultivars, incidence of stem infection by L. maculans ranged from 16-80%. Two seedlots of the cabbage cultivar Gloria Osena differed in blackleg stem susceptibility. No correlation was found between stem lesion incidence and foliar infection counts of each cultivar, or stem lesion incidence and each cultivar's average days-to-harvest. In a second trial, incidence of stem infection ranged from 50% (Rotan) to 95% (Dynasty) in cabbage, and 64.2 to 96.6% in cauliflower cultivars. All Brussels sprouts and broccoli cultivars tested were highly susceptible. The cultivars of turnip and tyfon tested were observed to be immune to blackleg, whereas the swedes, Japanese radish, chou moullier and red cabbage cultivars tested were highly susceptible. No correlation was found between stem length and incidence of stem infection. Different seedlots within several cabbage and cauliflower cultivars differed in their blackleg susceptibility. A third cultivar trial with 10 replicates of four seedlots of one cabbage cultivar confirmed that different seedlots of a single cultivar may vary significantly in their susceptibility to blackleg. Benomyl was applied to cabbage at the seedling stage only, or at the seedling stage followed by field applications every 14 d. Relative to an untreated control, multiple applications of benomyl resulted in a 33% reduction in stem infection, a ten-fold reduction in plants killed and a 50% reduction in the proportion of non-harvestable heads, relative to an untreated control. Seedling treatment resulted in a lower infection level, a lower mortality rate and a greater mean head mass than those of the untreated control. However, none of these differences were statistically significant. In a debris degradation trial, more than 90% of buried debris (cabbage stems infected by L. maculans) had decomposed after 2.5 yr, whereas 80% of surface debris had decomposed over the same period. The susceptibilities of seedbed transplants (SBT) and container-grown seedlings (CGS) were compared using different forms of L. maculans inoculum. "Dunk" inoculation of SBT into a pycnidiosporial suspension resulted in a stem infection level of 50% greater than an uninocu1ated control. Contamination of seedbeds resulted in an infection level of 46%. "Dunk" inoculation of CGS resulted in infection level of 22%. When CGS were grown in contaminated trays an infection level of 33.4% resulted. Interplot interference ill the form of inoculum dispersal over…