Diagnosis of light leaf spot (Pyrenopeziza brassicae) on winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in the UK
Fitt, Bruce D.L.
Light leaf spot lesions were generally first observed as light green areas on leaves of UK winter oilseed rape crops in January or February and later became brittle and bleached. Elongated lesions, which were brown with indistinct edges, developed on stems in the spring and summer, when lesions were also observed on flower buds, pedicels and pods. Development of diagnostic white pustules (spore masses of Pyrenopeziza brassicae, which erupt through surfaces of infected tissues) for confirmation of light leaf spot infection on symptomless plants or plants with indistinct or ambiguous symptoms in the autumn, winter or spring was enhanced by incubating plants in polyethylene bags. In experiments with artificially inoculated plants, glasshouse-grown plants exposed in infected crops and plants sampled from crops, white pustules developed at all incubation temperatures from 2 degrees C to 20 degrees C on infected leaves of different cultivars. The period of incubation required before the appearance of pustules decreased as the time that had already elapsed since the initial infection increased. The longest periods of incubation were required at the lowest temperatures (2 degrees C or 5 degrees C) but leaves senesced and abscised from plants most quickly at the highest temperatures (15 degrees C or 20 degrees C), suggesting that the optimal incubation temperature was between 10 degrees C and 15 degrees C.