Wild Pisum populations prevail in Israel in regions with diverse climatic conditions. A comprehensive survey was conducted in the winters of 2007-08 and 2008-09 at two sites in northern Israel, aiming to (i) document the density of Pisum elatius plants in natural ecosystems and elucidate factors related to their initial infection by Ascochyta blight and (ii) determine the factors governing disease development over time on individual plants. The surveyors identified P. elatius plants growing in designated quadrats, inspected each plant visually, and recorded the incidence and severity of its Ascochyta blight symptoms. Ascochyta blight, caused by Peyronellaea pinodes, was ubiquitous in Pisum elatius populations at both survey sites in both seasons. However, the total leaf area exhibiting disease symptoms of individual plants was very low, and stem and pod infections were rarely observed. Based on analyses of the survey data, it was suggested that, in natural ecosystems, the teleomorph stage of Peyronellaea pinodes serves as the main source of the primary and the secondary inoculum of the disease. In addition, it was found that infected leaves dropped off soon after infection, thereby precluding development of stem lesions. The plants continued growing and did not die; thus, they overcame the disease and could be considered "cured". This phenomenon was examined and confirmed in artificially inoculated, potted-plant experiments. It would be worthwhile to exploit the potential of this unique resistance mechanism as a tool for Ascochyta blight management in pea breeding.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Chief Scientist of Israel's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Contribution Number 555/15 from ARO, the Volcani Center, POB 6, Bet-Dagan 50250, Israel. S. Abbo is the incumbent of the Jacob and Rachel Liss Chair in Agronomy, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.
© 2016 The American Phytopathological Society.
- Black spot
- Natural habitats