Relating Peanut Rx Risk Factors to Epidemics of Early and Late Leaf Spot of Peanut


Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of prescription fungicide programs, based upon Peanut Rx, to reduce combined effects of early leaf spot (ELS), caused by Passalora arachidicola (Cercospora arachidicola), and late leaf spot (LLS), caused by Nothopassalora personata (syn. Cercosporidium personatum), but the potential of Peanut Rx to predict each disease has never been formally evaluated. From 2010 to 2016, non-fungicide-treated peanut plots in Georgia and Florida were sampled to monitor the development of ELS and LLS. This resulted in 168 cases (unique combinations of Peanut Rx risk factors) with associated total leaf spot risk points ranging from 40 to 100. Defoliation ranged from 13.9 to 100%, and increased significantly with increasing total risk points (conditional R2 = 0.56; P < 0.001). Leaf spot onset (time in days after planting [DAP] when either leaf spot reached 1% lesion incidence), ELS onset, and LLS onset ranged from 29 to 140, 29 to 142, and 50 to 143 DAP, respectively, and decreased significantly with increasing risk points. Standardized AUDPC of ELS was significantly affected by risk points (conditional R2 = 0.53, P < 0.001), but not for LLS. After removing redundant Peanut Rx factors, planting date, rotation, historical leaf spot prevalence, cultivar, and field history were used as fixed effects in mixed effect regression models to evaluate their contribution to leaf spot, ELS or LLS prediction. Results from mixed effects regression confirmed that the selected Peanut Rx risk factors contributed to the variability of at least one measurement of development of combined or separate epidemics of ELS and LLS, but not all factors affected ELS and LLS equally. Historical leaf spot prevalence, a new potential preplant risk factor, was a consistent predictor of the dominant disease(s) observed in the field. Results presented here demonstrate that Peanut Rx is a very effective tool for predicting leaf spot onset regardless of which leaf spot is predominant, but also suggest that associated risk does not reflect the same development for each disease. These data will be useful for refining thresholds for differentiating high, moderate, and low risk fields, and reevaluating the timing of fungicide applications in reduced input programs with respect to disease onset.

Plant Disease, 103(12)
Lucky Mehra
Lucky Mehra
Plant Disease Epidemiologist

My research interests include plant disease epidemiology, statistics, R, and SAS programming.