Factors affecting the infection of sweet cherry (prunus avium) fruit by podosphaera cerasi

Claudia Probst, Binod Pandey, Gary Grove, Prashant Swamy

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Powdery mildew caused by Podosphaera cerasi is the most important fungal disease of sweet cherries in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. In this study, several factors related to disease epidemiology were evaluated. The experiments were conducted to investigate flower susceptibility to P. cerasi infection by in planta and in vitro inoculation. The susceptibility of fruit at various developmental stages was investi-gated using defined concentrations of P. cerasi conidia. Furthermore, the threshold of conidial concentration required for fruit infection was determined. The pathogen activity during full bloom was limited and not related to fruit disease incidence and severity at harvest. Foliar infections always preceded fruit infections by an average of 42 days dur-ing the 3 years of the study. The onset of fruit infection followed, on average, 66 days after full bloom and appeared simultaneously on all susceptible cherry cultivars in the research orchard. Disease symptoms were only observed on fruit in Biologische Bundesanstalt, Bundessorte-namt, and Chemical Industry scale 8 (maturity) in all cultivars exam-ined. During this stage, a concentration of 500 conidia/ml was sufficient to cause fruit infection at harvest. Interaction between the inoculation dates and conidial concentration revealed a dependency of disease development on the host stage at the time of inoculation; the younger the fruit, the more conidia are needed to cause disease at har-vest. Molecular studies showed a rapid increase in conidia viability at the transition from asymptomatic to the symptomatic disease of fruit. No evidence of ontogenic resistance of fruit to powdery mildew infec-tion was observed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • cherry powdery mildew
  • Disease epidemiology
  • Podosphaera cerasi


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