Title page for ETD etd-05112005-125046


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Van der Waals, Jacqueline Elise
URN etd-05112005-125046
Document Title Epidemiology of early blight on potatoes in South Africa
Degree DPhil (Plant Pathology)
Department Microbiology and Plant Pathology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof L Korsten
Keywords
  • disease forecaster
  • decision support system
  • spore dispersal
  • genetic diversity
  • survey
  • RAMS
  • Solanum tuberosum
  • Alternaria solani
Date 2004-03-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Early blight (Alternaria solani Sorauer)is a major foliar disease of potatoes in most growing regions of the world and is underestimated in South Africa. This project studies the epidemiology and control of the disease in South Africa.

A decision support system (DSS) for early blight in South Africa was developed and evaluated in field trials. This early blight DSS is the first such system to be developed in South Africa and once incorporated with the late blight model, will represent innovative technology for use in the South African potato industry.

Trends in weather variables and concentrations of airborne conidia of A. solani were monitored. Distinct seasonal variation was noted. Peaks in spore concentration coincided with periods favourable for spore formation and dispersal; most notable was diurnal periodicity and interrupted wetting periods. The results obtained from these measurements will be useful in improving early blight DSSs for southern Africa.

Isolates of A. solani from various potato-growing regions in South Africa were characterized using virulence, vegetative compatibility (VC) and random amplified microsatellite (RAMS) primers. Neither the virulence assays nor VC tests sufficiently characterised the population. Analysis of RAMS profiles revealed 27% genetic diversity among the isolates. This value is similar to diversity values obtained by previous authors studying A. solani, however, it is relatively high for an asexually reproducing fungus. There was no evidence for geographical clustering of isolates, indicating that isolates are widespread across South Africa.

A survey on control practices and grower perceptions of early blight in South Africa was conducted using a questionnaire. These questionnaires were distributed to growers from 10 potato-growing regions in South Africa. Results highlighted the most popular control methods and cultivars in the South African potato industry. The majority of respondents indicated that they would use an accurate, cost-effective early blight DSS, and that more research is necessary on early blight in South Africa.

A survey on control practices and grower perceptions of early blight in South Africa was conducted using a questionnaire. These questionnaires were distributed to growers from 10 potato-growing regions in South Africa. Results highlighted the most popular control methods and cultivars in the South African potato industry. The majority of respondents indicated that they would use an accurate, cost-effective early blight DSS, and that more research is necessary on early blight in South Africa. Estimated crop losses ranged from 1% - 60%, with an average of approximately 20%.

This is the first comprehensive epidemiological study to be conducted on early blight in South Africa and has highlighted the need for further research.

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  00front.pdf 1.57 Mb 00:07:14 00:03:43 00:03:15 00:01:37 00:00:08
  01chapter1.pdf 1.48 Mb 00:06:50 00:03:31 00:03:04 00:01:32 00:00:07
  02chapter2.pdf 6.41 Mb 00:29:40 00:15:15 00:13:21 00:06:40 00:00:34
  03chapter3.pdf 3.67 Mb 00:16:58 00:08:43 00:07:38 00:03:49 00:00:19
  04hapter4.pdf 3.91 Mb 00:18:05 00:09:18 00:08:08 00:04:04 00:00:20
  05chapter5.pdf 3.32 Mb 00:15:22 00:07:54 00:06:54 00:03:27 00:00:17
  06chapter6.pdf 2.82 Mb 00:13:02 00:06:42 00:05:52 00:02:56 00:00:15
  07chapter7.pdf 1.54 Mb 00:07:08 00:03:40 00:03:12 00:01:36 00:00:08
  08appendices.pdf 2.47 Mb 00:11:26 00:05:53 00:05:09 00:02:34 00:00:13

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