Survival of sclerotia of Rhizoctonia solani AG3PT and effect of soil-borne inoculum density on disease development on potato

F Ritchie, RA Bain, MP McQuilken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sclerotia produced by a single isolate of Rhizoctonia solani AG3PT were buried in small plot experiments to investigate the effects of sclerotial production method, soil type and burial depth on sclerotial viability in field soil. The factor with the greatest effect on sclerotial viability, defined as the percentage of sclerotia germinating on agar following retrieval, in all experiments was the duration of burial. After 18 months, on average across all experiments, 20% of retrieved sclerotia were viable. A comparison between sclerotia produced in vitro on malt yeast extract agar and in vivo using micropropagated tubers in field soil found no significant differences between the two production methods on sclerotial viability. Burial in field soil at 20-cm depth was found to significantly reduce sclerotial viability to 50% compared to 60% at 5 cm. In two pot experiments, amending the growing medium and soil with increasing inoculum densities of R. solani was found to increase stem number, stem canker and black scurf severity regardless of whether this soil-borne inoculum was derived from mycelium or sclerotia. Black scurf incidence and severity were assessed 30–32 days posthaulm destruction and found to be similar for a range of sclerotial soil-borne inoculum densities (1.0 9 10 1 g/kg d.w. soil to 6 9 10 3 g/kg d.w. soil). The significance of these findings in relation to pathogen survival, detection in soil and disease development is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180 - 189
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Phytopathology
Publication statusFirst published - 2012


Bibliographical note



  • AG 3
  • Germination
  • Potato
  • Rhizoctonia solani
  • Sclerotia
  • Soil

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