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Temperature the major factor affecting the population balance of phytophthora spp causing pod rot of cacao theobroma cacao in bahia brazil

Temperature the major factor affecting the population balance of phytophthora spp causing pod rot of cacao theobroma cacao in bahia brazil

Revista Theobroma 13(4): 361-376

Studies were undertaken to determine the causes for the predominance of P. capsici in the cacao growing areas of Bahia, and the influence of temperature on the mycelial growth and zoospore production of P. capsici, P. palmivora and P. citrophthora, agents of the cacao pod rot. Comparative in vitro tests were made on carrot agar (CA), under continuous light at a temperature range from 5-35.degree. C, for growth, and 15-32.degree. C for sporulation. Cardinal temperatures for growth varied from 5-8.degree. C, 25-30 and 35.degree. C for P. palmivora; 5.degree., 25-30.degree. and 35.degree. C for P. capsici; and 5-8.degree., 27.degree. and 32-35.degree. C for P. citrophthora. P. palmivora was less sensitive to high temperatures (30-35.degree. C) and more sensitive to lower temperatures (5-18.degree. C) as compared to other species. In relation to sporulation, cardinal temperatures ranged: 15.degree., 27.degree. and 30-32.degree. C for P. capsici; 20.degree., 27-30.degree. and 32-35.degree. C for P. palmivora; and 20.degree., 27.degree. and 32.degree. C for P. citrophthora. P. capsici showed the widest temperature range for sporulation and higher spore production than the others, and at 27.degree. C produced 2 and 3 times more zoospores than P. palmivora and P. citrophthora, respectively. This last species had a reduced zoospore production as compared to the others though chlamydospores were formed at 15 and 18.degree. C. Temperature is apparently a major factor for the balance and prevalence of P. capsici in the cacao growing area of Bahia, Brazil.

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