DEVELOPMENT OF GLOMERELLA LEAF SPOT IS ENHANCED IN VIRUSINFECTED MAXI GALA APPLES
D.S. Guerra, O. Nickel, E.M. Del Ponte, R.M.V. Sanhueza, T.V.M. Fajardo, G.A.B. Marodin
Apples are commercially grown in Brazil in a subtropical environment that favors the development of fungal diseases such as Glomerella leaf spot (GLS) caused mainly by Glomerella cingulata (anamorph Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). The main objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of mixed infections by Apple stem grooving virus (ASGV) and Apple stem pitting virus (ASPV) on the infection and the colonization processes of C. gloeosporiodes in cv. Maxi Gala plants. Leaves of 16-month-old potted plants were spray-inoculated and both the disease incidence and lesion count were monitored over time and leaf severity was assessed in the final evaluation using an image analysis tool. Results showed that initial infection estimated from a monomolecular model fitted to progress of lesion count was higher and the incubation period (time to reach 50% incidence) was on average 10 h shorter in virus-infected plants compared to non-infected plants. It is hypothesized that initial events such as conidial germination and fungal penetration into plant cells were facilitated by the presence of viral infection. Also, final GLS severity was significantly higher in the virus-infected plants. Mixed infections by ASGV/ASPV seemed to make apple leaves more susceptible to the initial infection and colonization by C. gloeosporioides.