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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Dynamics of bacterial blight disease in resistant and susceptible rice varieties

Niones, Jennifer T.; Sharp, Ryan T.; Donayre, Dindo King M.; Oreiro, Eula Gems M.; Milne, Alice E.; Oliva, Ricardo


Bacterial blight (X. oryzae pv. oryzae) is a serious disease in rice across the world. To better control the disease, it is important to understand its epidemiology and how key aspects of this (e.g. infection efficiency, and spatial spread) change according to environment (e.g. local site conditions and season), management, and in particular, variety resistance. To explore this, we analysed data on the disease progress on resistant and susceptible varieties of rice grown at four sites in the Philippines across five seasons using a combination of mechanistic modelling and statistical analysis. Disease incidence was generally lower in the resistant variety. However, we found no evidence that the primary infection efficiency was lower in resistant varieties, suggesting that differences were largely due to reduced secondary spread. Despite secondary spread being attributed to splash dispersal which is exacerbated by wind and rain, the wetter sites of Pila and Victoria in south Luzon tended to have lower infection rates than the drier sites in central Luzon. Likewise, we found spread in the dry season can be substantial and should therefore not be ignored. In fact, we found site to be a greater determinant of the number of infection attempts suggesting that other environmental and management factors had greater effect on the disease than climate. Primary infection was characterised by spatially-random observations of disease incidence. As the season progressed, we observed an emerging short-range (1.6 m-4 m) spatial structure suggesting secondary spread was predominantly short-range, particularly where the resistant variety was grown.


Disease incidence; Epidemiological modelling; Primary infection; Spatial statistics; Spatial structure

Published in

European Journal of Plant Pathology
2022, Volume: 163, number: 1, pages: 1-17
Publisher: SPRINGER

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

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