Epidemiological Study of Hazelnut Bacterial Blight in Central Italy by Using Laboratory Analysis and Geostatistics

Lamichhane, Jay Ram; Fabi, Alfredo; Ridolfi, Roberto; Varvaro, Leonardo
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Incidence of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. corylina, the causal agent of hazelnut bacterial blight, was analyzed spatially in relation to the pedoclimatic factors. Hazelnut grown in twelve municipalities situated in the province of Viterbo, central Italy was studied. A consistent number of bacterial isolates were obtained from the infected tissues of hazelnut collected in three years (2010–2012). The isolates, characterized by phenotypic tests, did not show any difference among them. Spatial patterns of pedoclimatic data, analyzed by geostatistics showed a strong positive correlation of disease incidence with higher values of rainfall, thermal shock and soil nitrogen; a weak positive correlation with soil aluminium content and a strong negative correlation with the values of Mg/K ratio. No correlation of the disease incidence was found with soil pH. Disease incidence ranged from very low (<1%) to very high (almost 75%) across the orchards. Young plants (4-year old) were the most affected by the disease confirming a weak negative correlation of the disease incidence with plant age. Plant cultivars did not show any difference in susceptibility to the pathogen. Possible role of climate change on the epidemiology of the disease is discussed. Improved management practices are recommended for effective control of the disease.


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