Colletotrichum acutatum occurs asymptomatically on sweet cherry leaves
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Leaves of sweet cherry, exposed to either paraquat or freezing to quickly senesce the leaf tissue, were incubated in about 100% RH at 25°C for 6 d. Sporulating colonies of Colletotrichum acutatum, the cause of anthracnose, developed on up to 100% of the paraquat-treated and frozen leaves, and on none of the untreated controls. Number of leaves and leaf area containing C. acutatum on naturally infected leaves increased over time from May to September. Mean incidence of C. acutatum on leaf blades on fruit spurs and vegetative shoots from eight orchard/year samplings were 41 and 33%, respectively. Secondary conidiation (formation of short hyphae and new conidia) from conidia applied to detached leaves took place 6 h after inoculation, but only up to 3% of the conidia formed new conidia. It may be concluded that asymptomatic sweet cherry leaves frequently host C. acutatum and may be a potential inoculum source for cherry fruit.
KeywordsBitter rot Epidemiology Prunus avium
The Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food supported the experiments financially.
The authors thank technicians at Ullensvang research centre for their help.
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