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Characterization of Early Blight Resistance in Potato Cultivars

Xue, Weiya, Haynes, Kathleen G., Qu, Xinshun
Plant disease 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 629-637
Alternaria solani, blight, cluster analysis, confidence interval, cultivars, disease course, early development, field experimentation, foliar diseases, fungi, growing season, heritability, leaves, potatoes, standard deviation, tetraploidy, Pennsylvania
Early blight, caused by the fungus Alternaria solani, is one of the most economically important foliar diseases of potatoes worldwide. In this study, 217 tetraploid old and modern potato cultivars were evaluated for foliar resistance to early blight in field experiments in Pennsylvania in 2016 and 2017. Relative area under the disease progress curve (RAUDPC) was calculated based on visual assessment of foliar disease during the growing season each year. RAUDPC ranged from 0.0090 to 0.7372 in 2016 and from 0.0215 to 0.7889 in 2017, respectively. Significant differences in resistance to A. solani among cultivars were found (P < 0.0001). A significant interaction was found between cultivar and environment (P < 0.0001). Cluster analysis classified the cultivars into five groups: resistant, moderately resistant, intermediate, moderately susceptible, and susceptible. Broad-sense heritability for early blight resistance was estimated as 0.89 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.86 to 0.92. All cultivars were also evaluated for foliage maturity in separate field trials in 2016 and 2017, and a strong negative correlation between early blight resistance and maturity was found. Maturity-adjusted RAUDPC was calculated by regressing maturity on RAUDPC; predicted values more than two standard deviations greater or less than observed values were used to identify cultivars with greater genetic susceptibility or resistance to early blight, respectively, independent of maturity. Although most resistant and moderately resistant cultivars showed late maturity and most susceptible cultivars showed early maturity, a few exceptions were found.