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Effects of Soil Water Level, Black Dot (Colletotrichum coccodes) Infested Soil and Nutrient Depletion on Potato in a Controlled Environment

Cummings, Thomas F., Johnson, Dennis A.
American journal of potato research 2014 v.91 no.4 pp. 327-336
Colletotrichum coccodes, chlorophyll, crop yield, crops, greenhouse experimentation, irrigation, nitrogen, potatoes, progeny, sclerotia, soil water, tubers
The effects of soil water level and soil infested or not infested with Colletotrichum coccodes were quantified and compared on Umatilla Russet potato in repeated greenhouse trials. Nitrogen levels in leaflets and tuber yield differed significantly for effect of water level but there was no effect for soil infestation in both trials. More leaflet N as measured by chlorophyll and less tuber yield occurred in the low than the medium and high soil water treatments. Number of progeny tubers was not affected by C. coccodes but numbers were significantly less for the low water level than the high water level in one trial. Root weight was significantly reduced by C. coccodes in both trials and was significantly less in the high than the low and medium soil water levels in one trial. Incidence of infected progeny tubers was significantly reduced in infested soils for the low soil water compared to the medium or high soil water levels in one trial. The effect of increasing levels of water in infested soils had large and significant increases for percentage of stem area with sclerotia in both trials. Managing soil water by not overwatering in irrigated potato fields in the presence of C. coccodes may reduce black dot severity and quantity of sclerotia that potentially can overwinter and serve as sources of infection for subsequent crops. Analyses demonstrated a potential for significant associations between plant and disease variables not evidence for cause and effect.