Incidence of potato tuber blight in Ecuador uri icon

abstract

  • Potato late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, is the most important biotic constraint to potato yield and productivity in Ecuador. Yields are severely reduced by foliage blight, but tuber blight has never been quantified in this country. To address this issue, three independent surveys were carried out in Ecuador to estimate the incidence of tuber infection by P. infestans. The first two (1998-1999) involved the collection and assessment of more than 8,000 tubers from the four provinces that produce the most potatoes: Carchi, Chimborazo, Pichincha, and Tungurahua. In the third survey (1999-2001), approximately 10,000 tubers were sampled from the two provinces producing the most potatoes, Carchi and Chimborazo, and from Canar and Bolivar, two provinces that produce relatively small amounts. In spite of confirmed foliage infection in most fields sampled, very few infected tubers were found. In 1999, an extremely low incidence of tuber blight (less than 0.1%) was detected in three samples (each of more than 1,000 tubers) from the province of Pichincha. In a separate survey in 1999, tuber blight was also found in three fields in the province of Carchi, but with very low incidence. Our data indicate that tuber blight does occur in Ecuador, but the incidence of the disease is extremely low. Factors that might suppress tuber blight in Ecuador are discussed.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005