Analysis of leaf appearance, leaf death and phoma leaf spot, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, on oilseed rape (Brassica napus) cultivars

S. J. Powers, E. J. Pirie, A. O. Latunde-Dada, Bruce D.L. Fitt

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Development of phoma leaf spot (caused by Leptosphaeria maculans) on winter oilseed rape (canola, Brassica napus) was assessed in two experiments at Rothamsted in successive years (2003-04 and 2004-05 growing seasons). Both experiments compared oilseed rape cultivars Eurol, Darmor, Canberra and Lipton, which differ in their resistance to L. maculans. Data were analysed to describe disease development in terms of increasing numbers of leaves affected over thermal time from sowing. The cultivars showed similar patterns of leaf spot development in the 2003-04 experiment when inoculum concentration was relatively low (up to 133 ascospores m-3 air), Darmor developing 5.3 diseased leaves per plant by 5 May 2004, Canberra 6.6, Eurol 6.8 and Lipton 7.5. Inoculum concentration was up to sevenfold greater in 2004-05, with Eurol and Darmor developing 2.4 diseased leaves per plant by 16 February 2005, whereas Lipton and Canberra developed 2.8 and 3.0 diseased leaves, respectively. Based on three defined periods of crop development, a piece-wise linear statistical model was applied to the progress of the leaf spot disease (cumulative diseased leaves) in relation to appearance ('birth') and death of leaves for individual plants of each cultivar. Estimates of the thermal time from sowing until appearance of the first leaf or death of the first leaf, the rate of increase in number of diseased leaves and the area under the disease progress line (AUDPL) for the first time period were made. In 2004-05, Canberra (1025 leaves x degrees C days) and Lipton (879) had greater AUDPL values than Eurol (427) and Darmor (598). For Darmor and Lipton, the severity of leaf spotting could be related to the severity of stem canker at harvest. Eurol had less leaf spotting but severe stem canker, whereas Canberra had more leaf spotting but less severe canker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Disease assessment
  • epidemic development
  • multiple responses
  • phoma stem canker
  • repeated measures
  • statistical model


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