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Linda Gombert, Mark Windham, and Susan Hamilton

Fifty-seven cultivars of zinnia (Zinnia elegans Jacq.) were studied for 17 weeks to determine their resistance to alternaria blight (Alternaria zinniae Pape), powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum DC ex Merat) and bacterial leaf & flower spot [Xanthomonas campestris pv. zinniae (syn. X. nigromaculans f. sp. zinniae Hopkins & Dowson)]. A disease severity scale was used to determine acceptability for landscape use. At week 4, all cultivars were acceptable. At week 10, eleven cultivars were acceptable. At week 17, all cultivars were unacceptable. Ten cultivars had been killed by one or more pathogens by week 17. Only two cultivars showed any tolerance to any disease (powdery mildew) at week 17.

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Thomas H. Boyle and Robert L. Wick

True-breeding lines of Zinnia marylandica Spooner, Stimart & Boyle [allotetraploids of Z. angustifolia H.B.K. and Z. violacea Cav. (2n = 4x = 46)] were backcrossed with autotetraploid Z. angustifolia (2n = 4x = 44) and Z. violacea (2n = 4x = 48). Seed-generated, backcross (BC1) families were screened for resistance to alternaria blight (Alternaria zinniae Pape), bacterial leaf and flower spot [Xanthomonas campestris pv. zinniae (Hopkins and Dowson) Dye], and powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum DC. ex Merat). All BC1 families exhibited high levels of resistance to alternaria blight and powdery mildew. BC1 families derived from crossing Z. marylandica with autotetraploid Z. angustifolia were highly resistant to bacterial leaf and flower spot, whereas BC1 families derived from crossing Z. marylandica with autotetraploid Z. violacea were susceptible to this disease. Our results suggest that one Z. angustifolia genome in BC1 allotetraploids is sufficient to confer resistance to A. zinniae and E. cichoracearum, but at least two Z. angustifolia genomes are required in BC1 allotetraploids to provide resistance to X. campestris pv. zinniae.

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Lisa J. Skog*, Theo Blom, Wayne Brown, Dennis Murr, and George Chu

Ozone treatment has many advantages for control of fungal diseases. There are no residue concerns, no registration is required, and it is non-specific, therefore potentially effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens. However, ozone is known to cause plant damage. There is little information available on either the ozone tolerance of floriculture crops or the levels required to kill plant pathogens under commercial conditions. Nine floriculture crops (begonia, petunia, Impatiens, Kalanchoe, pot roses, pot chrysanthemums, lilies, snapdragons and Alstroemeria) were subjected to increasing levels of ozone. Trials were conducted at 5 and 20 °C (90% to 95% RH) and ozone exposure was for 4 days for either 10 hours per day (simulating night treatment) or for 10 minutes every hour. Damage was assessed immediately after treatment and after an additional 3 days at room temperature in ozone-free air. Trials were terminated for the crop when an unacceptable level of damage was observed. Trials to determine the lethal dose for actively growing pathogens (Alternaria alternata, Alternaria zinniae and Botrytis cinerea) and fungal spores were conducted under identical conditions. Ozone tolerance varied with plant type and ranged between <0.2 and 3ppm. Generally, the crops surveyed were more susceptible to ozone damage at the low temperature. As a group, the bedding plants were the least tolerant. Fungal spores were killed at treatment levels between 0.8 and 2 ppm ozone. The actively growing fungal mycelium was still viable at 3 ppm ozone when the trial had to be terminated due to ozone-induced structural damage in the treatment chambers. Under the trial conditions, only the Kalanchoe would be able to tolerate the high levels of ozone required to kill the fungal spores.