Colonization and Sporulation of Phytophthora infestans on Volunteer Potatoes Under Western Washington Conditions



Growth, sporulation, and survival of Phytophthora infestans on volunteer potato tubers, was investigated under temperatures representative of winter (4°C, 7°C, and 10°C) and spring (13°C, 16°C, 19°C) soil conditions in western Washington. Inoculated tubers stored at 10°C for 8 days had a significantly (P < 0.05) higher percentage of disease symptoms on tuber surfaces and a higher number of lenticels and eyes with P. infestans sporulation compared to those stored at 4°C or 7°C. Sporulation of P. infestans on cut tuber surfaces was observed following 3-week storage at the three winter soil temperatures. After 12-week storage, tubers inoculated with a US-8 isolate had a significantly higher percentage of late blight on cut surfaces than those inoculated with a US-11 isolate (70% versus 50%, respectively). For spring soil temperature studies, tubers inoculated with the US-8 isolate and held at 19°C had a significantly higher number of lenticels per tuber with P. infestans sporulation than tubers held at 13°C or 16°C. Sporulation of P. infestans on tuber surfaces was detected on infected tubers buried 5-cm deep in potting medium at all tested winter and spring temperatures for 3- or 6-day periods, respectively. The site or depth of tuber inoculation with P. infestans did not influence tuber-to-sprout infection events and whether apical end or stem sprouts become infected. Tubers with late blight that survive the winter in western Washington and support sporulation of P. infestans via lenticels and eyes may enable the transmission of P. infestans from infected tissues to sprouts of volunteer plants. However, the impact of these events on primary inoculum production by P. infestans in the region is probably limited by the mild, winter conditions favoring tuber break-down in soil.


Late blight Survival Volunteer potato tubers Lenticels Eyes 


El crecimiento, esporulación y supervivencia de Phytophthora infestans, en tubérculos de papa que quedaron remanentes en campos de cultivo después de la cosecha, fueron investigados bajo diferentes temperaturas las cuales representaban las condiciones del suelo en invierno (4°C, 7°C y 10°C) y en primavera (13°C, 16°C, 19°C) para la región oeste del estado de Washington. Los tubérculos inoculados almacenados a 10°C por 8 días mostraron un porcentaje significativamente mayor (P < 0.05) de síntomas de la enfermedad en la superficie del tubérculo, así como un número más alto de lenticelas y yemas con esporulación de P. infestans comparado con aquellos tubérculos que fueron almacenados a 4°C o 7°C. La esporulación de P. infestans en la superficie de tubérculos cortados fue observada después de 3 semanas de almacenamiento a las tres temperaturas de suelo establecidas para invierno. Después de 12 semanas de almacenamiento, los tubérculos inoculados con el tipo US-8 tuvieron un porcentaje significativamente mayor de infección de tizón tardío en las superficies cortadas que aquellos inoculados con el tipo US-11 (70% vs. 50%, respectivamente). En los estudios de temperatura de suelo en primavera, los tubérculos inoculados con el tipo US-8 y mantenidos a 19°C tuvieron un número más alto de lenticelas por tubérculo con esporulación de P. infestans que los tubérculos mantenidos a 13°C o 16°C. Esporulación de P. infestans en la superficie de tubérculo fue detectada en tubérculos infectados y enterrados a 5-cm de profundidad del suelo de cultivo, esto ocurrió en todas las temperaturas evaluadas tanto de invierno y primavera después de periodos de 3 o 6 días, respectivamente. El sitio o la profundidad de la inoculación de P. infestans en los tubérculos no influyó en las chances de transferencia de infección de tubérculo a brotes, ni tampoco si los brotes apicales o de tallo fueron preferentemente infectados. Los tubérculos con tizón tardío que sobrevivieron el invierno en el oeste de Washington y permitieron esporulación a través de lenticelas y yemas, pueden permitir también la transmisión de P. infestans de tejidos infectados hacia los brotes de tubérculos remanentes en campos de cultivo. Sin embargo, el impacto de estos eventos en la producción de inóculos primarios de P. infestans en esta región esta probablemente limitado por las condiciones de invierno moderado que favorecerían mas bien la desintegración de los tubérculos en el suelo.



The authors thank Dr. Lori Carris, Dr. Lindsey du Toit, and Dr. Dennis Johnson for their critical review of this work. This research was funded by the National Potato Council. PPNS No. 0498, Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences, Agricultural Research Center, Project No. WNP00336, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6430, USA.


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Copyright information

© Potato Association of America 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington State University-Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research & Extension CenterMount VernonUSA

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