Development of potato blight Phytophthora infestans after planting infected seed tubers


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About 1000 blight‐infected seed potato tubers, usually of the cultivar King Edward, were planted for 9 yr and the subsequent plants examined until the disease had developed in the plots. Haulm infection originated each year from the seed tubers and occurred first on basal leaves. When tubers were inoculated with a complex race of P. infestans this race was recovered from the leaves and from the soil near the seed tuber. Transmission of infection from soil to leaves was demonstrated by splash of artificially contaminated soil to leaves suspended above the soil. In 4 yr, plants were grown on flat rows as well as on ridges. In 2 yr, when emergence was almost complete, infected stems were observed on otherwise normal plants. In the first year 0.6% grew on ridges and 3.0% on the flat and in the second all grew on the flat (5.3%). Only seven of the 43 plants had more than one infected stem. Flat plots had a significantly higher number of stemdplant than ridge plots, but this bore no relation to numbers of infected stems. When flat plots which had developed affected plants had soil replaced as ridge plots, no further infected stems were observed. Such stems continued to develop on flat plots. No prematurely dead stems were observed below soil level when all plants were dug. Underground portions of most infected stems showed little evidence of P. infestans which was found only at about soil level. Infection appeared to occur first in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-309
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 1980


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