Arne Stensvand

Research Professor

(+47) 911 83 430
arne.stensvand@nibio.no

Place
Ås H7

Visiting address
Høgskoleveien 7, 1433 Ås

Abstract

Introduction and purpose: The ability of apple rootstocks to become infected by Neonectria ditissima, the cause of European canker, was studied over two years. Materials and methods: Rootstocks B9 and M9 with a size suitable for grafting (6-10 mm stem diameter, termed rootstocks), and smaller sized rootstocks (<5 mm stem diameter, termed transplants) of B9, M9, M26, MM106 and Antonovka were inoculated with N. ditissima at different times, either with contaminated map pins or with spore suspensions. In addition, the rootstocks were either defeathered (side shoots removed), topped (top shoot headed) or both, to create wounds that would normally occur during propagation, while wounds on transplants were made by removing leaves. Results and discussion: One month after inoculation, slightly sunken canker lesions had developed around the inoculation points of the map pins or wounds. No lesions developed on the non-inoculated controls. Map pin inoculation resulted in 30% to 89% infection and spore suspension sprayed on wounds from 5% to 45% infection. When the cankered areas were split open, brown lesions with necrotic tissue due to infection by N. ditissima appeared. The transplants of M9, M26 and MM106 inoculated with contaminated map pins in 2014 developed necrosis on 40% to 67% of the plants, but there were no differences in the incidence or severity among the different types. On the transplants of B9, Antonovka and M9 inoculated in 2015, there was more necrosis on B9 (42%) than on Antonovka (11%) and more sporulating lesions on B9 (29%) than on M9 (9%) or on Antonovka (4%). Conclusion: It can be concluded that rootstocks used for apple trees may become infected by N. ditissima, and wounds should thus be protected during propagation.

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Abstract

Cultivars and cultivating methods for organic strawberry production were studied in experiments in open fields and high plastic tunnels during four cropping seasons in southern Norway. In open fields, flowers and fruits were attacked by grey mould when the flowering and harvest seasons were wet, and marketable yield was reduced by up to 20%. Production in high tunnels showed a potential of high yields of fruits of good quality when strawberry powdery mildew was controlled. Berry size varied significantly among the cultivars. ‘Frida’ had the largest fruits followed by ‘Sonata’ and ‘Florence’, while ‘Polka’, ‘Korona’ and ‘Iris’ had the smallest fruits. All cultivars yielded well, but due to fruit decay caused by grey mould the marketable yield was significantly reduced, especially in open field. Grey mould was the most important factor influencing marketable yields. Fruits from matted rows were largest, while the highest yield was obtained on woven polyethylene. There were no effects of mulching methods on marketable yield or the amount of fruits with grey mould. High tunnels with good control of pests and diseases showed a potential of high and stable yields of good quality.

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Abstract

Nighttime ultraviolet (UV) radiation, if applied properly, has a significant potential for management of powdery mildews in many crop species. In this study, the role of growth light duration, irradiance, a combination of both (daily light integral) and light spectral quality (blue or red) on the efficacy of UV treatments against powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera xanthii and the growth performance of cucumber plants was studied in growth chambers. Increasing daily light integral provided by high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS) decreased efficacy of nighttime UV treatments against P. xanthii, but it increased plant growth. Furthermore, the efficacy of nighttime UV decreased when day length was increased from 16 to 20 h at a constant daily light integral. The efficacy of nighttime UV increased if red light was applied after UV treatment, showing the possibility of day length extension without reducing the effect of UV. Increasing the dose of blue light during daytime reduced the efficacy of nighttime UV in controlling the disease, whereas blue deficient growth light (< 6% of blue) caused UV mediated curling of young leaves. Furthermore, application of blue light after nighttime UV reduced its disease control efficacy. This showed the importance of maintaining a minimum of blue light in the growth light before nighttime UV treatment. Findings from this study showed that optimization of nighttime UV for management of powdery mildew is dependent on the spectral composition of the photosynthetically active radiation.

Abstract

Production of inoculum of Colletotrichum acutatum from both previously infected and overwintered tissue, as well as newly developed plant tissue of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus), was studied in southern Norway. Plant parts were sampled from commercial, private, or research orchards, and incubated for 2 to 14 days (time depended on tissue type) in saturated air at 20°C. In early spring, abundant sporulation was found on scales of overwintered buds and shoots. A mean of 35% infected buds in four cultivars was observed, with a maximum of 72% of the buds infected in one of the samples. Over 3 years, the seasonal production of overwintered fruit and peduncles of cv. Fanal infected the previous year was investigated. In all three years, the infected plant material was placed in the trees throughout the winter and the following growing season; in two of the years, fruit and peduncles were also placed on the ground in the autumn or the following spring. Old fruit and peduncles formed conidia throughout the season, with a peak in May and June. Spore numbers declined over the season, but the decline was more rapid for plant material on the ground than in the trees. On average over 2 years, 68.7, 24.0, or 7.3% of the inoculum came from fruit placed in the trees, placed on the ground in spring, or placed on the ground the preceding autumn, respectively. The number of fruit and peduncles attached to the trees in a planting of cv. Hardangerkirsebær was followed from February to July one year, and although there was a decline over time, fruit and/or their peduncles were still attached in substantial numbers in July, thus illustrating their potential as sources of inoculum. In observations over 2 years in a heavily infected orchard of cv. Stevnsbær, 75 and 47% of flowers and newly emerged fruit, respectively, were infected. Artificially inoculated flowers and fruit produced conidia until harvest, with a peak in mid-July. It may be concluded that previously infected and overwintered, as well as newly emerged tissue of sour cherry, may serve as sources of inoculum of C. acutatum throughout the growing season.

Abstract

Fungi within the Colletotrichum acutatum species complex occur asymptomatically on plant parts of many different plant species. Leaves from apple orchards in southern Norway were sampled, frozen for five hours and incubated for six days to reveal presence of asymptomatic infections of C. acutatum. Number of leaves (incidence) and leaf area covered (severity) with conidial masses of C. acutatum were assessed biweekly on cv. Aroma from late May to late September during three growing seasons. The first finding of conidial masses occurred in the second half of July, and there was a higher incidence occurring in August and September. Sampling of leaves from fruit spurs and vegetative shoots of cvs. Aroma and Elstar showed that conidial masses of C. acutatum developed on leaves on both shoot types, and there was no difference in incidence between these two types. The fungus was detected on leaves from six of eight commercial orchards of cv. Aroma over three years, with a mean incidence of 5.5 %. After storage, bitter rot was found on apple fruit from all eight orchards. There was no correlation between incidence of conidial masses of C. acutatum on leaves and on fruit. In all orchards and seasons investigated, incidence and severity on leaves varied from 0 to 67%and 0 to 85 %, respectively. The discovery of apple leaves containing conidial masses of C. acutatum clearly indicate for leaves as a potential source of inoculum for fruit infections.

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Abstract

Oidium neolycopersici, the cause of powdery mildew in tomato, was exposed to UV radiation from 250 to 400 nm for 1, 12, or 24 min. Radiation ≤ 280 nm strongly reduced conidial germination, hyphal expansion, penetration attempt and infection of O. neolycopersici. From 290 to 310 nm the effect depended on duration of exposure, while there was no effect ≥310 nm. There were no significant differences within the effective UV range (250–280 nm). Conidial germination on a water agar surface was b20% or around 40%, respectively, if samples were exposed for 1 min within the effective UV range followed by 24 h or 48 h incubation. Twelve or 24 min exposure reduced germination to close to nil. A similar trend occurred for germination of conidia on leaf disks on water agar in Petri dishes. The effective UV range significantly reduced all subsequent developmental stages of O. neolycopersici. There was no cytoplasmic mitochondrial streaming in conidia exposed to the effective UV range, indicating that there may be a direct effect via cell cycle arrest. There was no indication of reactive oxygen species involvement in UV mediated inhibition of O. neolycopersici. Optical properties of O. neolycopersici indicat- ed that the relative absorption of UV was high within the range of 250 to 320 nm, and very low within the range of 340 to 400 nm. Identification of UV wavelengths effective against O. neolycopersici provides a future basis for precise disease control.

Abstract

Effects of controlled atmosphere (CA) conditions on physiological disorders and fungal fruit decay on apple ‘Aroma’ were investigated. Fruit from three growing seasons were stored at 1% or 2% O2 (both at 2% CO2) at either 1°C or 3°C in small research units; controls were kept in the same ventilated rooms at the two temperatures (ambient air). The fruit were removed from storage after four or six months and assessed for fruit decay immediately afterwards and after two weeks at 20°C. Fruit quality parameters were recorded at the end of storage. On a three-year average, fruit stored in CA was less ripe at the end of storage. After both four and six months storage, CA reduced total decay (physiological disorders and fungal decay) by on average 70% and 45%, respectively, compared to storage in ambient air. Senescent breakdown was lower after CA storage for four months, but not after six months and not after simulated shelf life. Soft scald was lower when stored in CA both after cold storage at 1°C and simulated shelf life. After storage at 3°C there was lower incidence of soft scald when stored in CA after four months, but not after six months. For fungal fruit decay in general, there was no effect of low oxygen, however, 2% O2 gave slightly less bitter rot (Colletotrichum acutatum) than 1% O2 and significantly less than ambient air after simulated shelf life. Averaged over all oxygen levels, 1°C gave significantly less bitter rot than 3°C. It may be concluded that use of CA for storage of ‘Aroma’ is a good way of reducing development of physiological disorders. However, development of bitter rot seemed to be more influenced by temperature and storage time than by low O2.

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Abstract

Disease-suppressive effects of nighttime applications of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) were investigated at two irradiance levels (1.6 or 0.8 W/m2) in strawberry and rosemary plants inoculated with Podosphaera aphanis or Golovinomyces biocellatus, respectively. Plants were exposed to each irradiance level every third night for either 9 or 18 min, every night for either 3 or 6 min, or three times every night for either 1 or 2 min. Thus, over time, all plants received the same cumulative dose of UV-B, and severity of powdery mildew was reduced by 90 to 99% compared with untreated controls in both crops. Use of polished aluminum lamp reflectors and UV-B reflective surfaces on greenhouse benches significantly increased treatment efficacy. An automated apparatus consisting of an adjustable boom with directed airflow was used to move UV-B lamps over greenhouse benches at 25 or 50 cm/min. Directed airflow moved leaves on the subtending plants to better expose upper and lower surfaces to UV-B but directed airflow actually decreased the efficacy of UV-B treatments, possibly by dispersing conidia from lesions before they were exposed to a lethal dose of UV-B. Results indicate broad applicability of nighttime applications of UV-B to suppress powdery mildews, and that cumulative UV-B dose is an overriding factor determining efficacy. Finally, enhanced suppression on shaded or obscured tissues is more likely to be affected by reflective bench surfaces than through attempts to physically manipulate the foliage.

Abstract

In 2008, an epidemic caused by a new Neonectria sp. was discovered on white fir (Abies concolor) in several counties in southern Norway [1]. Later the pathogen was also found on other fir species in Norway and Denmark [2]. Typical symptoms and signs were dead shoots, flagging (dead branches), canker wounds, heavy resin flow, and occasionally red fruiting bodies (perithecia). Pathogenicity tests on several Abies spp. proved the fungus to be very aggressive, which corresponds well with observations of mortality of white fir and subalpine fir (A. lasiocarpa) from different age classes under field conditions. Sequencing of the internal transcribed regions (ITS) of the ribosomal DNA showed that this Neonectria sp. was most similar to N. ditissima (only 5 bp different from isolates in the GenBank), a common pathogen worldwide on broad leaf trees. The ITS sequences were very different (> 20 bp) from N. fuckeliana, a well-known fungus on Norway spruce in Scandinavia and other parts of the world, especially in the northern hemisphere. In 2011, the new Neonectria species was found on diseased trees in a Danish nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) seed orchard. Resin flow was seen from mature cones, and tests revealed that the seeds were infected by the Neonectria sp.

Abstract

Sydowia polyspora is a pathogenic, seed borne fungus on conifers [1]. It is especially troublesome in the Christmas tree industry, where it causes current season needle necrosis (CSNN) on fir (Abies spp.). Needles get chlorotic spots or bands and in severe cases the entire needles turn necrotic and shed. The fungus also commonly kills current year shoots (Sclerophoma shoot dieback) on both fir and spruce (Picea spp.). The latter we proved on subalpine fir (A. lasiocarpa) inoculated by S. polyspora from noble fir (Abies procera) seeds. Two conifer seed lots known from previous tests to contain a high percentage of S. polyspora were selected for a treatment experiment; alpine pine (Pinus mugo var. rotundata) and Noble fir. Both seed lots received the following five treatments; surface sterilized (10 sec. in 70 % ethanol plus 90 sec. in 0,5 % NaOCl), dipped in 15 % acidic acid, mixed with 0,36 gram Signum (boskalid and pyraklostrobin) per 100 gram seeds, mixed with 0,8 gram Mycostop (Streptomyces griseovirides) per 100 gram seeds, dipped in different concentrations of thyme oil (extracted from Thymus vulgaris), and control (no treatment). Based on the results we recommend Signum for conifer seed treatment. This fungicide controlled S. polyspora well and did not influence on the germination ability. Agricultural

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Abstract

The effect of day length on production and germinability of conidia and severity of disease caused by Podosphaera pannosa, the causal agent of rose powdery mildew, was studied. Whole potted plants or detached leaves of Rosa interspecific hybrid 'Mistral' were inoculated with P. pannosa and exposed to 0, 12, 18, 20, 22, or 24 h of artificial light per day in growth chambers equipped with mercury lamps. Increasing duration of illumination from 18 to 20 to 24 h per day reduced production of conidia by 22 to 62%. Exposure to 24 h of illumination per day also strongly reduced disease severity compared with 18 h. Our results suggest that increasing day lengths from 18 h per day to 20 to 24 h may suppress the disease significantly and, thereby, reduce the need for fungicide applications against powdery mildew.

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Abstract

A collection of four clonal isolates of Podosphaera aphanis was heterothallic and was composed of two mutually exclusive mating types. Cleistothecial initials approximate to 20 to 30 mu m in diameter were observed within 7 to 14 days after pairing of compatible isolates and developed into morphologically mature ascocarps within 4 weeks after initiation on both potted plants maintained in isolation and in field plantings in New York State and southern Norway. Ascospores progressed through a lengthy maturation process over winter, during which (i) the conspicuous epiplasm of the ascus was absorbed; (ii) the osmotic potential of the ascospore cytoplasm increased, resulting in bursting of prematurely freed spores in water; and, finally, (iii) resulting in the development of physiologically mature, germinable, and infectious ascospores. Release of overwintered ascospores from field collections was coincident with renewed plant growth in spring. Overwintered cleistothecia readily dehisced when wetted and released ascospores onto glass slides, detached strawberry leaves, and leaves of potted plants. Plant material exposed to discharged ascospores developed macroscopically visible mildew colonies within 7 to 10 days while noninoculated controls remained mildew free. Scanning electron and light microscopy revealed that cleistothecia of P. aphanis were enmeshed within a dense mat of hyphae on the persistent leaves of field-grown strawberry plants and were highly resistant to removal by rain while these leaves remained alive. In contrast, morphologically mature cleistothecia on leaves of nine deciduous perennial plant species were readily detached by simulated rain and seemed adapted for passive dispersal by rain to other substrates. Contrary to many previous reports, cleistothecia appear to be a functional source of primary inoculum for strawberry powdery mildew. Furthermore, they differ substantially from cleistothecia of powdery mildews of many deciduous perennial plants in their propensity to remain attached to the persistent leaves of their host during the intercrop period.

Abstract

In Norway, Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) and subalpine fir (A. lasiocarpa) are the dominant Christmas tree species, and noble fir (A. procera) the dominant bough plant species. To determine if fungi found to cause diseases on fir in Norway might be seed borne, samples from twelve seed lots, including Nordmann fir from Austria, Georgia and Russia, subalpine fir from Canada and Norway and noble fir from Norway were tested using agar plate methods (PDA and WA). The most important finding was that Sydowia polyspora was present on seed from all firs from all countries (nine samples infected, 0.5 - 85 % infected seeds). Recently, it has been demonstrated in Norway that this fungus is the cause of current season needle necrosis (CSNN), which is considered a major disease in the Christmas tree and bough production both in Europe and USA. Sirococcus coniguenus was found in a Norwegian A. procera seed lot (31% infected seeds), which to our knowledge is the first report of this pathogen on fir seeds. Caloscypha fulgens was detected on subalpine fir seed from Canada. In addition the following fungal genera were detected: Acremoniella, Acremonium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Botrytis, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Diaphorte, Dictyopolyschema, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Genicularia, Mucor, Neonectria, Penicillium, Phoma, Rhizopus, Sordaria, Trichoderma, Trichothecium, and an unidentified fungus.

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Abstract

When rose plants bearing colonies of Podosphaera pannosa were placed in a wind tunnel, the number of conidia trapped was directly proportional to intensity of daylight-balanced (white) light from 5 to 150 mu mol m(-2) s(-1). Illumination of samples using blue (420 to 520 nm) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) increased the number of conidia trapped by a factor of approximately 2.7 over white light but germination of conidia under blue light was reduced by approximately 16.5% compared with conidia germination under white light. The number of conidia trapped under far-red (>685 nm) LEDs was approximately 4.7 times higher than in white light, and 13.3 times higher than under red (575 to 675 nm) LEDs, and germination was not induced compared with white light. When mildewed plants were exposed to cycles of 18 h of white light followed by 6 h of blue, red, far-red light, or darkness, light from the red LEDs reduced the number of conidia trapped by approximately 88% compared with darkness or far-red light. Interrupting the above dark period with 1 h of light from red LEDs also reduced the number of conidia trapped, while a 1-h period of light from far-red following the 1 h of light from red LEDs nullified the suppressive effect of red light. Our results indicate that brief exposure to red light during the dark interval may be as effective as continuous illumination in suppressing powdery mildew in greenhouse rose plant (Rosa x hybrida).

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Abstract

Current season needle necrosis (CSNN) has been a serious foliage disorder on true fir Christmas trees and bough material in Europe and North America for more than 25 y. Approximately 2-4 weeks after bud break, needles develop chlorotic spots or bands that later turn necrotic. The symptoms have been observed on noble fir (Abies procera), Nordmann fir (A. nordmanniana) and grand fir (A. grandis) on both continents. CSNN was reported as a physiological disorder with unknown aetiology from USA, Denmark, and Ireland, but was associated with the fungus Kabatina abietis in Germany, Austria and Norway. In 2007, a fungus that morphologically resembled K. abietis was isolated from symptomatic needle samples from Nordmann fir from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and USA. Sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of ribosomal DNA of these cultures, plus a K. abietis reference culture from Germany (CBS 248.93), resulted in Hormonema dematioides, the imperfect stage of Sydowia polyspora, and thus the taxonomy is further discussed. Inoculation tests on Nordmann fir seedlings and transplants with isolates of S. polyspora from all five countries resulted in the development of CSNN symptoms. In 2009, S. polyspora was also isolated from symptomatic needles from Nordmann fir collected in Slovakia. (c) 2010 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Abstract

European ash (Fraxinus excelsior), also known as common ash, occurs naturally inland in lower areas of southeastern Norway and along the southern coast of the country. It is important both as a forest and ornamental tree. During the last decade, dieback has become a disastrous disease on F. excelsior in many European countries. The anamorphic fungus Chalara fraxinea T. Kowalski (1), described for the first time from dying ash trees in Poland, is now considered the cause of ash dieback (2). In May of 2008, C. fraxinea was isolated from 1.5 m high diseased F. excelsior in a nursery in Østfold County in southeastern Norway. Symptoms included wilting, necrotic lesions around leaf scars and side branches, and discoloration of the wood. From symptomatic branches, small pieces (approximately 1 cm3) were excised in the transition area between healthy and discolored wood. After surface sterilization (10 s in 70% ethanol + 90 s in NaOCl), the pieces were air dried for 1 min in a safety cabinet, cut into smaller pieces, and placed on media. The fungus was isolated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and water agar (WA). On PDA, the cultures were tomentose, light orange, and grew slowly (21 mm mean colony diameter after 2 weeks at room temperature). Typical morphological features of C. fraxinea developed in culture. Brownish phialides (14.8 to 30.0 [19.5] × 2.5 to 5.0 [4.1] μm, n = 50) first appeared in the center of the colonies on the agar plugs that had been transferred. The agar plugs were 21 days old when phialides were observed. Abundant sporulation occurred 3 days later. Conidia (phialospores) extruded apically from the phialides and formed droplets. Conidia measured 2.1 to 4.0 (3.0) × 1.4 to 1.9 (1.7) μm (n = 50). The first-formed conidia from each phialide were different in size and shape from the rest by being longer (6 μm, n = 10) and more narrow in the end that first appeared at the opening of the phialide. Internal transcribed spacer sequencing confirmed that the morphological identification was correct (Accession No. EU848544 in GenBank). A pathogenicity test was carried out in June of 2008 by carefully removing one leaf per plant on 10 to 25 cm high F. excelsior trees (18 trees) and placing agar plugs from a 31-day-old C. fraxinea culture (isolate number 10636) on the leaf scars and covering with Parafilm. After 46 days, isolations were carried out as described above from discolored wood that had developed underneath necrotic lesions in the bark and subsequently caused wilting of leaves. All the inoculated plants showed symptoms, and C. fraxinea was successfully reisolated. No symptoms were seen on uninoculated control plants (eight trees) that had received the same treatment except that sterile PDA agar plugs had been used.

Abstract

Several non-chemical control agents are now registered and available for control of powdery mildews. However, there is little or no information about their efficacy against strawberry powdery mildew, caused by Podosphera aphanis. Trials were conducted to compare the performance of non-chemical control agents to chemical fungicides under laboratory, greenhouse and high plastic tunnel conditions. The treatments included: AQ10 (active ingredient is Ampelomyces quisqualis, a hyperparasite on powdery mildew), AQ10 + Silwet Gold (organosilicon adjuvant, enhances distribution and wetting), Vacciplant (active ingredient is laminarin, an extract from brown algae), JMS Stylet oil (mineral oil), Rape seed oil + detergent, Thiovit (wettable sulphur), Topas 100 EC (penconazole) + Candit (kresoximmethyl) and water as control. In the greenhouse, one quarter of the recommended dose was used either daily in one experiment or three times per week in another. In the field, half of recommended rates were applied twice weekly. Both in the greenhouse and tunnel experiments, the chemical control Topas + Candit and AQ10 + Silwet Gold significantly reduced disease severity. AQ10,Vacciplant and Thiovit were moderately effective when applied daily in the greenhouse trial, but not significantly different from the water control when applied three time per week in the greenhouse and twice a week in the tunnel experiment. In the plastic tunnel, the JMS stylet oil and Rape seed oil + detergent treatments caused severe phytotoxic reaction (necrosis). AQ10 used alone had the poorest performance in the tunnel. This indicated that the spreader either enhances the effect of AQ10 and/or the spreader itself had an effect. In laboratory experiments with powdery mildew grown on strawberry leaflets in Petri dishes, spore germination after treatments with water, Stylet oil, Candit and Thiovit were 74, 53, 8 and 7%, respectively. The effect of Thiovit found in the laboratory was not reflected in the greenhouse and plastic tunnel trials. We will further explore the protectant, curative and eradicative effects of the compounds included here.

Abstract

Development of ontogenic resistance to powdery mildew (Podosphaera aphanis) in strawberry fruit has not been quantified, and thus cannot be exploited in disease management programs. Four commercially-relevant strawberry cultivars were evaluated for ontogenic resistance to powdery mildew. Fruits were inoculated at one of the four growth stages: flowering, green, white and early pink fruit. There was a significant difference between and within cultivars at the bloom and green stage of inoculations (P <0.05) for both disease incidence and severity. On average 16.4, 39.5, 48.7, and 60.3 % of the fruits inoculated at bloom developed powdery mildew in cultivars Elan, Korona, Frida and Inga, respectively. None of the cultivars developed powdery mildew when inoculated at the pink stage. It may be concluded that flowers and green fruits of strawberry were much more susceptible to powdery mildew infection than white and pink fruits. The high susceptibility of cultivars at the flower and early green stages seemed coincident with the succulent nature of the fruits at these stages, making it easy for penetration and establishment of mildew. Control measures targeting at these critical windows of fruit susceptibility are likely to reduce yield loss.

Abstract

Combinations of covering and fungicide applications were tested on two sweet cherry cultivars; Van during two years (2001 and 2002) and Lapins three years (2001"2003). The following treatments were tested in 2001 and 2002: (i) covering during flowering and from 5 to 6 weeks prior to harvest and throughout harvest, no fungicides applied, (ii) as (i) but fungicides were applied once or twice between the two covering periods, (iii) covered 5 to 6 weeks prior to harvest and throughout harvest, fungicides applied two or three times prior to covering, and (iv) uncovered throughout the season, fungicides applied two or three times in the period from flowering towards harvest. In 2003, the trees were covered only from 5 to 6 weeks prior to harvest and throughout harvest. Both treatments that year received fungicide applications during flowering, but one of the treatments was left unsprayed during the green fruit period prior to covering. Every combination of covering and fungicide applications reduced total fruit decay at harvest significantly compared to a full fungicide programme and no covering. In three of four trials when the trees were covered during flowering and prior to harvest, and fungicide applications were omitted in the green fruit phase between the covering periods, no significant increase in fruit rot occurred compared to treatments where fungicides were applied. However, in one trial there was a significant increase in fruit rot by leaving out one fungicide spray during that intermittent period. Furthermore, if fungicides were only applied during flowering and not on green fruit before covering in 2003, a significant increase in fruit rot occurred. Thus, leaving out fungicide applications during that supposedly less susceptible green fruit period, increased the risk of acquiring fruit rot. Applying fungicides during the green fruit stage significantly reduced the amount of brown rot in four of five trials and anthracnose in one of five trials. No negative effect on fruit quality was found from the extended covering periods. It can be concluded that covering effectively replaced fungicide applications during flowering and prior to harvest.