In order to better understand the epidemiology of the Stewart's disease of corn pathosystem, quantitative information concerning the temporal dynamics of the amount of pathogen inoculum present in the form of Pantoea stewartii-infested corn flea beetles (Chaetocnema pulicaria) is needed. Temporal changes in the proportion of P. stewartii-infested corn flea beetle populations were monitored by testing individual corn flea beetles for the presence of P. stewartii using a peroxidase-labeled, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Approximately 90 corn flea beetles were collected each week from seven locations in Iowa from September 1998 through October 2000 using sweep nets. The proportion of P. stewartii-infested beetles at the end of the 1998 growing season ranged from 0.04 to 0.19. In spring 1999, the proportion of overwintering adult corn flea beetles infested with P. stewartii ranged from 0.10 to 0.11 and did not differ significantly from the previous fall based on x2. During the 1999 corn-growing season, the proportion of infested corn flea beetles ranged from 0.04 to 0.86, with the highest proportions occurring in August. In fall 1999, the proportion of beetles infested with P. stewartii ranged from 0.20 to 0.77. In spring 2000, the proportion of overwintering adult corn flea beetles infested with P. stewartii ranged from 0.08 to 0.30; these proportions were significantly lower than the proportions observed in fall 1999 at Ames, Chariton, and Nashua. During the 2000 corn-growing season, the proportion of P. stewartii-infested corn flea beetles ranged from 0.08 to 0.53, and the highest observed proportions again occurred in August. Corn flea beetle populations sampled in late fall 2000 had proportions of infested beetles ranging from 0.08 to 0.20. This is the first study to quantify the temporal population dynamics of P. stewartii-infested C. pulicaria populations in hybrid corn and provides new quantitative information that should be useful in developing risk models to predict the seasonal and site-specific risks associated with Stewart's disease of corn.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science