Microsclerotial enumeration, size, and survival of Calonectria pseudonaviculata.
Boxwood blight caused by Calonectria pseudonaviculata (Cps) is an emerging disease in the United States. Understanding the biology and survival of microsclerotia, the resting propagules of Cps, is important to managing the disease and restoring Cps-infested sites. In this study, an image-analyzing software (OpenCFU) was adapted to enumerate microsclerotia produced in culture plates. Microsclerotial counts increased with time up to 42 days while their size continued to grow for 70 days. Additionally, younger microsclerotia were less sensitive to extreme temperatures of -10 and 40°C than older ones. For instance, 21-day-old microsclerotia survived at almost twice the rate of 70-day-old ones after a 24-h exposure to -10°C. Likewise, the 21-day-old microsclerotia survived at much greater rates than 70-day-old ones (50 to 70% versus <10%) after a 24-h exposure to 40°C. The practical implications of these results are discussed.