Powdery mildew caused by Erysiphe aquilegiae var. ranunculi is one of the major diseases affecting field-grown delphiniums (Delphinium spp.). Two lath house and two field experiments were conducted in 2003 and 2004 to evaluate nine delphinium cultivars for resistance to the disease. ‘Blue Bird’, ‘King Arthur’, ‘Cameliard’, and ‘Galahad’ were consistently more resistant [0–1.1 disease severity (ds) on a 0–5 scale] than ‘Casa Blanca’, ‘Blue Shadow’, ‘Belladona’, and ‘Bellamosum’ (2.9–5.0 ds). ‘Oriental Blue’ was moderately resistant (0–3.3 ds). Spearman's coefficients of rank correlation were significant for all pairs of experiments (0.70 ≤ rs ≤ 0.98; P ≤ 0.0354) except for the 2003–04 field experiments (rs = 0.66; P = 0.0525). Pearson correlation coefficients between experiments (0.86 ≤ r ≤ 0.99) were highly significant (P ≤ 0.0027). Disease severity values from lath house evaluations were almost identical to those from field evaluations.
Eighteen cultivars of hosta (Hosta spp.), selected to represent a wide range of size, leaf shape and color, and genetics, were evaluated for reaction to Sclerotium rolfsii var. delphinii in a greenhouse in Ames, Iowa in 2000 and 2001. Bare-root, single-eye plants were planted in 15.2-cm (6-inch) pots in a soil-containing (2000) and soilless (2001) mix and grown in a greenhouse for 3 months. Plants were then inoculated by placing a carrot disk infested with mycelium of S. rolfsii at the base of the plant. Disease severity was assessed weekly for 6 weeks as percent symptomatic petioles. Disease development varied significantly (P < 0.05) among cultivars. Overall, `Lemon Lime', `Munchkin', `Nakaiana', `Platinum Tiara', and `Tardiflora' had the most severe symptoms and `Halcyon' showed the least disease.
Experiments conducted in vitro showed that coir [coconut (Cocos nucifera) mesocarp pith] suppressed growth of soilborne plant pathogens. Mycelial growth of Phytophthora capsici on potato dextrose agar (PDA) amended with an unsterilized coir suspension was strongly inhibited regardless of suspension concentration. Growth of P. capsici on PDA amended with a filter-sterilized coir suspension was uninhibited. Growth of Fusarium solani on water agar (WA) amended with unautoclaved coir was completely inhibited. Growth of F. solani on WA amended with autoclaved coir was uninhibited. Aspergillus terreus recovered from coir inhibited mycelial growth of various soilborne pathogens by up to 75%. The results from this study suggest that coir has the ability to suppress soilborne plant pathogens in vitro and this ability is largely due to microorganisms associated with the substrate.