The roles of ascospores and conidia of Pyrenopeziza brassicae in light leaf spot epidemics on winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in the UK
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
McCartney, H. A.
Steed, J. M.
Ascospores of Pyrenopeziza brassicae were produced in apothecia (cup-shaped ascomata) on oilseed rape debris. The conidia, which were morphologically identical to the ascospores, were produced in acervular conidiomata on the surface of living oilseed rape tissues. Ascospores were more infective than conidia on oilseed rape leaves. The proportion of lesions caused by conidia located on leaf veins was greater than for lesions caused by ascospores. In June 2000, on the ground under a crop with light leaf spot, numbers of petioles with apothecia decreased with increasing distance into the crop from the edge of pathways. Air-borne ascospores of P. brassicae were first collected above debris of oilseed rape affected with light leaf spot on 5 October 1998 and 18 September 1999, 12 or 23 days, respectively, after the debris had been exposed outdoors. P. brassicae conidia were first observed on leaves of winter oilseed rape on 6 January 1999 and 15 February 2000, respectively, after plots had been inoculated with debris in November 1998 and October 1999. In 1991/92, numbers of ascospores above a naturally infected crop were small from January to April and increased in June and July. P. brassicae conidia were first observed in February and the percentage plants with leaves, stems or pods with light leaf spot increased greatly in May and June. In 1992/93, in a crop inoculated with debris, numbers of airborne ascospores were small from October to January and increased from April to June. P. brassicae conidia were first observed on leaves in late November and light leaf spot was seen on stems and pods in March and June 1993, respectively.