This morning we woke up early again. We were on the road by 6:00.
Goal of the day, one very large site on the way back to Lima to sample more Solanum habrochaites. Philippe and I also visited this site last time. Then we found that most plants were showing hardly any symptoms, but there was a hint of Phytophthora infection. This time, the weather would prove if the plants were still very resistant under conditions much more favorable to Phytophthora.
Even though last time we somehow must have taken the wrong coordinates, we were able to find the site in no time. It was quite different from last time. The plants had a darker green, leaves were damp from the fog and after a while, they even turned wet, from the rain. Most plants looked really healthy from a first look, but upon closer inspection, I would say that 1 out of 3 showed some degree if infection. If all were infected with Phytophthora was quite hard to say. Some lesions got very mushy and hard to distinguish from any other pathogen, like Alternaria. Some lesions were showing the clear concentric rings that one would expect from Alternaria, but some others did look pretty promising.
From here it was a 1 hour drive until we reached the outskirts of Lima again. From there another 3 before we finally reached the CIP.A complete standstill on the motorway is no fun at all, but taking some of the B roads, at least you see some interesting things, like this very modern T shirt.
At CIP we spend a good hour to sort the samples and a couple more to double check all the details for the next leg of the journey. Philippe will arrive this afternoon and tomorrow morning at 5:00 am we fly to Cajamarca. My bag is loaded with petri dishes, parafilm, masking tape, paper bags, scissors, garden cutters, forceps, a spray bottle, markers, sunscreen, a poncho and all other things one could need. I’m ready for part 2!