European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 365–375 | Cite as

Rain-driven epidemics ofPhytophthora porri on leek

  • W. D. Smilde
  • M. van Nes
  • H. D. Frinking
Research Articles


White tip disease of leek (Allium porrum), caused byPhytophthora porri, was studied in field experiments. On fields infested by soil-borne inoculum (oospores), relatively short periods of explosive disease increase alternated with periods in which apparently no new infections occurred. The analysis of rain data and disease data, using a degree-day model for incubation periods at constant temperatures, confirmed the hypothesis that disease increase ofP. porri is significantly correlated with rain; R adj 2 was 0.91, 0.41 and 0.51 in 1992, 1993 and 1994, respectively. Correlations were highest early in the season. Lack of correlation later in the season may be ascribed to the effect of lesion death, which may be caused by total or partial leaf death, by desiccation or by other fungi overgrowingP. porri, and to the effect of secondary infection by zoosporangia, which appears to be not so strongly rain-driven as primary infection. Zoosporangia were observed in fields on water-logged light-green lesions. High lesion densities of leaf tips and leaf units at 10–20 cm above the leaf axils indicated that most infections depend on free water, either in puddles or in a water basin near the leaf axils. Although disease correlates well with rain data, disease forecasts will be unreliable as long as rain forecasts are unreliable.

Key words

Allium porrum host growth degree-days incubation period splash dispersal oospores 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. D. Smilde
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. van Nes
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. D. Frinking
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhytopathologyWageningen Agricultural UniversityEE WageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Vegetable and Fruit CropsDLO-Centre for Plant Breeding and Reproduction Research (CPRO)AA WageningenThe Netherlands

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