Germination of Alternaria linicola conidia on linseed : effects of temperature, incubation time, leaf wetness and light regime
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
Lucas, J. A.
Conidia of Alternaria linicola germinated on both water agar and linseed leaves (detached or attached) over a wide range of temperatures (5-25 degrees C) by producing one to several germ tubes. At temperatures between 10 degrees C and 25 degrees C and under continuous wetness in darkness, germination started within 2 h after inoculation and reached a maximum (100%) by 8 to 24 h, depending on temperature. At 5 degrees C, the onset of germination was later and the rate of germ tube elongation was slower than that at 10-25 degrees C. During germination, conidia of A. linicola were sensitive to dry interruptions of wet periods and to light. Short (2 h) or long (12 h) dry interruptions occurring at any time between 2 and 6 h after inoculation stopped conidial germination and germ tube elongation. With continuous wetness, light periods 2 to 12 h long immediately after inoculation inhibited conidial germination, which was resumed only when a dark period followed subsequently. However, germination and germ tube elongation of A. linicola conidia stopped and the viability of the conidia was lost during exposure to dry light periods immediately after inoculation with spore suspensions. Penetration of leaves by A. linicola was evident after 12 h and occurred mainly through epidermal cells (direct) with or without the formation of appressoria.