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Application of Image Analysis in Studies of Quantitative Disease Resistance, Exemplified Using Common Bacterial Blight–Common Bean Pathosystem

Xie, Weilong, Yu, Kangfu, Pauls, K. Peter, Navabi, Alireza
Phytopathology 2012 v.102 no.4 pp. 434-442
Phaseolus vulgaris, Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli, beans, blight, breeding, disease resistance, disease severity, foliar diseases, genotype, image analysis, phenotype, quantitative analysis, quantitative trait loci
The effectiveness of image analysis (IA) compared with an ordinal visual scale, for quantitative measurement of disease severity, its application in quantitative genetic studies, and its effect on the estimates of genetic parameters were investigated. Studies were performed using eight backcross-derived families of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) (n == 172) segregating for the molecular marker SU91, known to be associated with a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for resistance to common bacterial blight (CBB), caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans. Even though both IA and visual assessments were highly repeatable, IA was more sensitive in detecting quantitative differences between bean genotypes. The CBB phenotypic difference between the two SU91 genotypic groups was consistently more than fivefold for IA assessments but generally only two- to threefold for visual assessments. Results suggest that the visual assessment results in overestimation of the effect of QTL in genetic studies. This may have been caused by lack of additivity and uneven intervals of the visual scale. Although visual assessment of disease severity is a useful tool for general selection in breeding programs, assessments using IA may be more suitable for phenotypic evaluations in quantitative genetic studies involving CBB resistance as well as other foliar diseases.