University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-736
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


Effects of temperature on maturation of pseudothecia of Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa, closely related species which coexist on UK oilseed rape, were investigated. Stages in pseudothecial maturation on naturally infected oilseed rape debris were examined, both in controlled environments (5, 10, 15 or 20degreesC) under continuous wetness and in natural conditions (debris exposed in September and December 2000, and July, September and November 2002). Pseudothecia sampled weekly were assigned to maturation classes A (asci undifferentiated), B (asci differentiated), C (ascospores differentiated) or D (ascospores mature). Progress in pseudothecial maturation (assessed by time until 50% of pseudothecia reached each class) was similar for L. maculans and L. biglobosa at 15-20degreesC, but L. biglobosa matured more slowly at < 10degreesC. Maturation time decreased almost linearly with temperature from 5 to 20degreesC under continuous wetness but was longer in natural conditions, especially when periods of dry weather occurred. Differences in pseudothecial maturation are likely to contribute to epidemiological differences between L. maculans and L. biglobosa, which may explain their coexistence. It is appropriate to use the degree-day approximation to assess pseudothecial maturation at temperatures between 5 and 20degreesC, providing debris is wet.

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