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Birte Boelt

Effect of Verticillium dahliae soil inoculum levels on spinach seed infection

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Verticillium dahliae is a soilborne pathogen and a threat to spinach seed production. The aim of this study was to understand the relation between V. dahliae soil inoculum and infection in harvested seed. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used for quantification of the pathogen. Semifield experiments in which spinach was grown in soils with different inoculum levels enabled us to determine a threshold level for V. dahliae DNA of 0.003 ng/g of soil for seed infection to occur. Soils from production fields were sampled in 2013 and 2014 during and before planting, as well as the harvested seed. Seed from plants grown in infested soils were infected with V. dahliae in samples from both the semifield and open-field experiments. Lower levels of pathogen were found in seed from spinach grown in soils with a scattered distribution of V. dahliae (one or two positive of three soil subsamples) than in soils with a uniform distribution of the pathogen (three of three positive soil subsamples). Our results showed that infection of V. dahliae in harvested seed strongly depended on the presence of pathogen inoculum in the soil.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Disease
Volume100
Issue8
Pages (from-to)1564-1570
Number of pages7
ISSN0191-2917
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Verticillium dahliae, spinach seed, quantification, soil inoculum, real-time PCR

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