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Monitoring Spongospora subterranea development in potato roots reveals distinct infection patterns and enables efficient assessment of disease control methods


Thangavel, T and Tegg, RS and Wilson, CR, Monitoring Spongospora subterranea development in potato roots reveals distinct infection patterns and enables efficient assessment of disease control methods, PLoS One, 10, (9) Article e0137647. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Thangavel et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137647


Spongospora subterranea is responsible for significant potato root and tuber disease globally. Study of this obligate (non-culturable) pathogen that infects below-ground plant parts is technically difficult. The capacity to measure the dynamics and patterns of root infections can greatly assist in determining the efficacy of control treatments on disease progression. This study used qPCR and histological analysis in time-course experiments to measure temporal patterns of pathogen multiplication and disease development in potato (and tomato) roots and tubers. Effects of delayed initiation of infection and fungicidal seed tuber and soil treatments were assessed. This study found roots at all plant developmental ages were susceptible to infection but that delaying infection significantly reduced pathogen content and resultant disease at final harvest. The pathogen was first detected in roots 1520 days after inoculation (DAI) and the presence of zoosporangia noted 1545 DAI. Following initial infection pathogen content in roots increased at a similar rate regardless of plant age at inoculation. All fungicide treatments (except soil-applied mancozeb which had a variable response) suppressed pathogen multiplication and root and tuber disease. In contrast to delayed inoculation, the fungicide treatments slowed disease progress (rate) rather than delaying onset of infection. Trials under suboptimal temperatures for disease expression provided valuable data on root infection rate, demonstrating the robustness of monitoring root infection. These results provide an early measure of the efficacy of control treatments and indicate two possible patterns of disease suppression by either delayed initiation of infection which then proceeds at a similar rate or diminished epidemic rate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:powdery scab, potato, spongospora subterrenea, root infection
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural production
Research Field:Horticultural crop protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Field grown vegetable crops
UTAS Author:Thangavel, T (Dr Tamil Thangavel)
UTAS Author:Tegg, RS (Dr Robert Tegg)
UTAS Author:Wilson, CR (Professor Calum Wilson)
ID Code:102915
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:16
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2015-09-10
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:157 View Download Statistics

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