2020 journal article
Assessing Rate-Reducing Foliar Resistance to Anthracnose Crown Rot and Fruit Rot in Strawberry
Plant Disease, 104(2), 398–407.
Anthracnose fruit rot and anthracnose crown rot (ACR) caused by two species complexes of the fungus referred to as Colletotrichum acutatum and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, respectively, are major pathogens of strawberry in North Carolina. Anthracnose epidemics are common when susceptible cultivars and asymptomatic planting stocks carrying quiescent Colletotrichum infection or hemibiotrophic infection (HBI) are planted. The main objective of this study was to assess resistance to HBI and ACR in strawberry. Strawberry cultivars and breeding lines were spray inoculated with isolates of C. acutatum or C. gloeosporioides. Four epidemiological parameters providing estimates of rate-reducing resistance to HBI and ACR in strawberry cultivars and lines were evaluated in repeated experiments in controlled environments in a greenhouse. HBI severity, measured as the percentage of total leaf area covered by acervuli, was estimated visually and by image analysis. ACR severity was rated weekly for wilt symptoms, and relative area under disease progress curve scores were calculated for comparing strawberry cultivars and lines. Significant differences (P ≤ 0.005) in HBI severity were found among strawberry genotypes; however, the correlations were not remarkable between Colletotrichum species (r = 0.4251). Although significant variation in resistance was observed for ACR, this was also weakly correlated (r = 0.2430) with resistance to C. gloeosporioides HBI. Overall, rate-reducing resistance to HBI and ACR in strawberry identified in this study could be utilized in breeding programs to develop durable resistance to anthracnose in North Carolina.