Susceptibility of Hop Crown Buds to Powdery Mildew and its Relation to Perennation of Podosphaera macularis Public Deposited

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  • In the Pacific Northwestern United States, the hop powdery mildew fungus, Podosphaera macularis, survives overwintering periods in association with living host tissue because the ascigerious stage of the pathogen is not known to occur in this region. Field experiments were conducted over a 5-year period to describe the overwintering process associated with crown bud infection and persistence of P. macularis. Surface crown buds increased in abundance and size beginning in early July and continuing until mid-September. Buds of varying sizes remained susceptible to powdery mildew until late September to early October in each of 3 years of experiments, with susceptibility decreasing substantially thereafter. Potted plants were inoculated sequentially during early summer to autumn, then evaluated in the following year for development of shoots colonized by the powdery mildew fungus (termed flag shoots) due to bud perennation. Emergence of flag shoots was asynchronous and associated with shoot emergence and elongation. Flag shoots emerged over a protracted period from late February to early June, year dependent. In all 4 years of experiments, some infected buds broke and produced flag shoots after chemical desiccation of shoots in spring, a common horticultural practice in hop production conducted to set training timing and eliminate initial inoculum. Flag shoots were most numerous when plants were inoculated with P. macularis in early summer and, consequently, when powdery mildew was present throughout the entire period of crown bud development. The number of flag shoots produced was reduced from 6.8- to 46.6-fold when comparing the latest versus earliest inoculation dates. However, all inoculation timings yielded flag shoots at some level, suggesting that bud infection that occurs over an extended period of time in the previous season may allow the fungus to perennate. In studies in two commercial hop yards in Washington State, fungicide applications made after harvest reduced the level of powdery mildew on leaves in the current year but did not significantly reduce flag shoots in the following year. Given that bud infection occurred over a 10-week period, flag shoots developed even when plants were exposed to inoculum in October and some flag shoots survived chemical pruning practices, management efforts seem best directed to both preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of bud infection and remedial practices to physically eliminate infected crown buds in the ensuing year.
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  • 102
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  • 0191-2917



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