Evaluation of ascospore maturity models to estimate seasonal ascospore discharge of pear scab (Venturia pirina)
Abstract: Estimates of ascospore maturity generated by models developed for Venturia pirina in Victoria, Australia (V-NV, V-SV), Oregon, USA (S), or for Venturia inaequalis in New Hampshire, USA (NH-1 and NH-2) were compared to observed ascospore release of V. pirina in 21 site/yr combinations. When plotted against degree-days, the lag phase and slope of all model estimates differed from observed release. The S model and V-SV model fit well with the data from Southern Victoria, while the data from Norway, Belgium and most years from Northern Victoria show a lag phase in the beginning of the season that was not present in the two models. In particular, data from the high-rainfall region of southern Victoria showed more variation between years than the other sites. Identifying the precise biofix (bud break) to initiate degree-day accumulation for the NH-2 model was problematic at both Australian sites, as regions with warm winters and minimal chilling exhibit protracted bud break. Linear regressions generated similar R2 values for the various models in many cases, but where differences were noted they more often favored the most recent model developed for V. inaequalis (NH-2). The NH-2 model also provided the most accurate estimates of 95% ascospore depletion (a key event in many disease management programs) for Norway, Belgium, and the higher rainfall areas of southern Victoria. Although developed for use in management of apple scab, the NH-2 model appears a reasonably accurate tool for predicting the release of ascospores by the pear scab pathogen, in particular in regions with moderate rainfall and colder winters.