Journal of General Plant Pathology

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 335–347 | Cite as

Tomato early blight (Alternaria solani): the pathogen, genetics, and breeding for resistance

  • Reni Chaerani
  • Roeland E. Voorrips


Alternaria solani causes diseases on foliage (early blight), basal stems of seedlings (collar rot), stems of adult plants (stem lesions), and fruits (fruit rot) of tomato. Early blight is the most destructive of these diseases and hence receives considerable attention in breeding. For over 60 years, breeding for early blight resistance has been practiced, but the development of cultivars with high levels of resistance has been hampered by the lack of sources of strong resistance in the cultivated tomato and by the quantitative expression and polygenic inheritance of the resistance. In some accessions of wild species, high levels of early blight resistance have been found, but breeding lines still have unfavorable horticultural traits from the donor parent. Recently, the first linkage maps with loci controlling early blight resistance have been developed based on interspecific crosses. These maps may facilitate marker-assisted selection. This overview presents the current knowledge about the A. solani–tomato complex with respect to its biology, genetics, and breeding.

Key words

Early blight Tomato Alternaria solani Resistance Genetics Breeding 


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© The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Research InternationalWageningenThe Netherlands

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