Factors affecting incidence and severity of leaf spot disease on lettuce caused by Septoria birgitae Bedlan.
In the 1990s during wet seasons a new disease causing brown leaf spots on lettuce (Lactuca sativa) was found for the first time in many lettuce-growing areas of Austria and Germany. The causal agent, a new pathogenic species called Septoria birgitae, may be responsible for total crop loss. To study how temperature, inoculum density and leaf wetness period influence disease incidence and severity of leaf spot on lettuce caused by S. birgitae, we carried out in vivo experiments in growth chambers and in the field. Additionally, we evaluated the relevance of infected plant debris acting as a primary inoculum source in soil for subsequent crops. S. birgitae produces spores over a wide temperature range between 5°C and 30°C, and can infect plants at temperatures between 10°C and 30°C, with an optimum between 20°C and 30°C. Spores of S. birgitae at a density of at least 103?conidia?mL–1 are essential for disease outbreak on lettuce. Because leaf wetness is crucial for releasing conidia from pycnidia, we studied the impact of leaf wetness duration on disease development under various temperature conditions. For relevant leaf spot disease development on lettuce in vivo, a leaf wetness duration of at least 24?h and temperatures higher than 10°C were necessary. Leaf spot disease development in the field required several leaf wetness periods longer than 20?h at approximately 15°C at the beginning of crop cultivation. Incorporating S. birgitae infected plant debris in soil as a primary inoculum was not relevant for leaf spot disease outbreak in the next year. However, in cases of continuous cropping of lettuce on the same field and in the same season, Septoria-infected lettuce debris may become more relevant.
Lohmeier, U.; Djalali Farahani-Kofoet, R.; Kofoet, A.; Grosch, R. 2013. Factors affecting incidence and severity of leaf spot disease on lettuce caused by Septoria birgitae Bedlan. Annals of Applied Biology 162 (2), 221-230.