The role of soil-borne fungi in potato early dying disease: a study of Verticillium dahliae, V. albo-atrum, and Colletotrichum coccodes in Alberta

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Rahman, Atta Ur
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Biological Sciences
This study investigates potato early dying (PED) disease in southern Alberta caused by soil-borne fungi. The species identity, incidence and abundance of Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum, two fungi associated with PED, were examined through qPCR of soil samples collected from 62 fields in 2020 and 2021. Verticillium dahliae was found in 71% and 45% of the fields, respectively, while V. albo-atrum was detected in only one field in 2020. In the summer of 2021 and 2022, selected fields were surveyed to assess PED severity and the presence of V. dahliae in plant tissues. Potato fields with high V. dahliae inoculum levels in the soil showed more PED symptoms and lower yields; however, some low inoculum fields displayed PED symptoms, suggesting other factors might contribute to the PED complex. Interestingly, Colletotrichum coccodes was detected along with V. dahliae in 59% of plant samples collected in 2021 and 41% in 2022.
Verticillium wilt , potato disease , plant pathology , disease complex , field survey , soil fungi , qPCR analysis