ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Survival potential of Phytophthora infestans sporangia in relation to environmental factors and late blight occurrence
 
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1
USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA
2
North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
3
USDA-ARS, Southern Regional Research Center, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
4
USDA-ARS, New England Plant, Soil and Water Laboratory, Orono, ME 04469, USA
5
USDA-NRCS, Washington, D.C. 20250, USA
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Olanya Ocen Modesto
USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA
Submission date: 2015-09-09
Acceptance date: 2016-02-24
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2016;56(1):73–81
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ABSTRACT
Potato is an important crop globally and late blight (Phytophthora infestans) often results in severe crop loss. The cost for late blight control can be in excess of $210 million in the United States. We utilised a non-parametric density distribution analysis of local temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH), from 2005 to 2009, to assess and validate sporangia survival potential using survival model and late blight risks during the potato cropping season at Presque Isle, in the northern part of the state of Maine, USA. Model-based analyses showed that ambient temperatures of 3−30°C and RH values of 45−100% were conducive for sporangia survival. Disease outbreaks and risk periods coincided with a high sporangia survival probability (15−35%). Due to the omission of solar radiation (SR) in the computation of survival potential in previous research, we applied a Cox proportional model to estimate the probability of sporangia survival [i.e. hazard at a specific time H (t)] as a function of baseline hazard (H 0) and the influencing parameters. The model is: H (t) = H 0 (t) × exp(0.067 ET + 0.138 T + 0.083 RH + 0.001 SR) where ET is exposure time. The survival model indicated that RH (β = 0.083) and T (β = 0.138) were significant (p < 0.05) factors in sporangia survival in comparison to SR (β = 0.001). The hazard ratio, indicative of sporangia survival risk, varied with the predictors. For the unit increase of T, sporangia survival hazard increased by 1.148 times. The Cox model and sporangia hazard probabilities can be used for short-term disease forecasts based on the risk period most conducive for pathogen survival and targeted fungicide applications for optimum late blight management.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
 
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