Susceptibility toPhomopsis stalk disease ofPlantago lanceolata genotypes, sampled in three different populations with a variable degree of infection by the fungusPhomopsis subordinaria, was determined under greenhouse conditions. Susceptibility of the host varied within, but not among populations. No relationship between the intensity of the disease in the field and the mean susceptibility of the host genotypes sampled at those locations could be established. Host susceptibility appeared to be composed of the host genotypes sampled at those locations could be established. Host susceptibility appeared to be composed of different (uncorrelated) plant characteristics. Determining whether host genotypes are highly or slightly susceptible can only be achieved by field trials, where the plants are exposed to the whole set of disease inducing factors. The relevance of host susceptibility to the intensity of disease in the field is discussed in relation to the variation in pathogenicity of the fungus and the variation in environmental factors prevailing inP. lanceolata populations underP. subordinaria pathogen pressure.
Plantago lanceolataPhomopsis subordinariaIntensity of disease Susceptibility Biotic interaction