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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Using Leaf Temperature to Detect Pythium Root Rot Stress in Geranium

Authors
item Omer, Medani
item Locke, James
item Frantz, Jonathan

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2007
Publication Date: October 15, 2007
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/32257
Citation: Omer, M.A., Locke, J.C., Frantz, J. 2007. Using Leaf Temperature to Detect Pythium Root Rot Stress in Geranium. HortTechnology. 17:532-536.

Interpretive Summary: Visual diagnosis of root-rot disease of geraniums is often difficult, especially when the plants are maintained under excellent, non-limiting growing conditions. Such plants tend to not show symptoms until late in the infection cycle when it is too late to correct. To detect symptoms earlier, we used infrared surface temperature probes to measure leaf temperature, in addition to other environmental parameters, of geranium exposed to different soil pathogens during greenhouse production. Differences in leaf temperature among treatments were noticeable by week 2 and they were the greatest in week 7. However, visual disease symptoms were detected 3 weeks after inoculation. Results of this study suggest that leaf temperature measurements are a versatile, non-destructive way of rapidly examining whether plants are under pathogen stress.

Technical Abstract: Diagnosis of incipient disease based on visual symptoms of geraniums (Pelargonium × hortorum L. H. Bailey) exposed to water mold pathogens is often difficult, especially when the plants are maintained under optimum growing conditions. Such plants tend to be asymptomatic until late in the infection cycle when control methods are less effective and aesthetic value is diminished. To circumvent such a problem and to be able to predict the susceptibility of the plants to infection, we used infrared transducers to measure temperature in addition to other parameters in leaves of geranium plants exposed to a number of soil pathogens that are commonly associated with greenhouse production. Differences in leaf temperature among treatments were noticeable by week 2 and they were the greatest in week 7. However, visual disease symptoms were detected 3 weeks after inoculation. Results of this study suggest that leaf temperature measurements are a versatile, non-destructive way of rapidly examining whether plants are under pathogen stress.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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