Skip to main content

Quantitative resistance to Cercospora leaf spot disease caused by Pseudocercospora cruenta in cowpea


Six populations (Parent 1, Parent 2, F1, F2, BC1 and BC2) generated from each of four crosses involving four resistant and two susceptible varieties of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) were evaluated for resistance to Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) disease caused by Pseudocercospora cruenta under induced epiphytotic conditions, in four separate field experiments. Climatic conditions determined the onset of CLS disease in the susceptible cultivar and varied in the four experiments from 35 to 48 days after planting (DAP). Genetic analysis revealed that the mode of inheritance of resistance to P. cruenta can be oligogenic or polygenic depending upon the cross. This is the first report of polygenic inheritance of CLS resistance. Number of nodes infected fitted a simple additive dominance model with predominance of additive effects based on generation mean analysis. Oligogenic resistance was observed for the other three crosses, with the most plausible models being: a single gene model with incomplete dominance in CB27 × IT87D-939-1; a single gene model with complete dominance in CB27 × VRB-10; and a triger model in Los Banos Bush Sitao × IT86D-792, based on segregation analysis of symptomatic : non-symptomatic plants. The role of minor genes was also indicated in the above crosses. Suggested approaches to breeding for resistance to CLS are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  • Allen CJ (1983) The pathology of tropical food legumes. Wiley, Chichester, UK

    Google Scholar 

  • Baker RED, Dale WT (1951) Fungi of Trinidad and Tobago. Anonymous. The Commonwealth Mycological Institute. Mycological Papers 33, Anonymous, Kew, Surrey, UK

  • Booker HM (2006) Studies on resistance to Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) disease and the impact of CLS and Cowpea severe mosaic virus (CPSMV) diseases, the productivity of Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. In Trinidad. Ph.D. thesis. The University of West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, WI

  • Booker HM, Umaharan P (2007) Identification of identification of resistance to Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) of cowpea. Eur J Plant Pathol doi: 10-1007/s10658-007-9152-6

  • Braun U (1995) A monograph of Cercosporella, Ramularia and allied genera (phytopathogenic hyphomycetes), vol 1. IHW-Verlag, Eching bei München, Germany

    Google Scholar 

  • Braun U, Mouchacca J, McKenzie EHC (1999) Cercosporoid hyphomycetes from New Caledonia and some other South Pacific Islands. New Zeal J Bot 37:297–327

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown CB, Bally GS (1970) Land capability survey of Trinidad and Tobago: Central Range, No. 4, Port of Spain, Trinidad, Government Printery

  • Castro NR, Menezes GC, Coelho RSB (2003) Inheritance of the genetic resistance of caupi to cercosporiose. Fitopathology 28(5):552–554

    Google Scholar 

  • Cavali LL (1952) An analysis of linkage in quantitative inheritance. In: Reeve ECR, Waddington CJ (eds) Quantitative inheritance. HMSO, London, UK, pp 135–144

    Google Scholar 

  • Crous PW, Braun U (2003) Mycospaerella and its anamorphs: 1. Names published in Cercospora and Passalora. Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS), Utrecht, The Netherlands

  • Deighton FC (1976) Studies on Cercospora and allied genera. VI. Psuedocercospora Speg., Pantospora Cif. and Cercoseptoria Petr. Mycol Pap 140:1–168

    Google Scholar 

  • Fery RL, Dukes PD, Cuthbert FP Jr (1976) The inheritance of Cercospora leaf spot resistance in Southernpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.). J Hortic Sci 101(2):148–149

    Google Scholar 

  • Fery RL, Dukes PD (1977) An assessment of two genes for Cercospora leaf spot resistance in the Southernpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.). J Hortic Sci 12(5):454–456

    Google Scholar 

  • Fery RL, Dukes PD, Cuthbert FP Jr (1977) Yield-loss of Southern Pea (Vigna unguiculata) caused by Cercospora leaf spot. Plant Dis Rep 61(9):741–743

    Google Scholar 

  • Hart RO (1977) Etiology of Cercospora cruenta Sacc. on Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. M.Sc. Thesis. The University of Guyana, Turkeyen, E.C.D. Guyana

  • Hayman BI (1960) Maximum likelihood estimation of genetic components of variation. Biometrics 16:369–381

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jhooty JS, Sokhi SS, Sohi HS, Bains SS, Rewal HS, Mushi GD (1980) The reaction of cowpea germplasm to different diseases. Crop Improv 7(1):25–31

    Google Scholar 

  • Kannaiyan J, Greenberg DC, Haciwa HC, Mbewe MN (1987) Screening cowpea for resistance to major diseases in Zambia. Trop Grain Bull 34:23–26

    Google Scholar 

  • Jinks JL, Jones RM (1958) Estimation of components of heterosis. Genetics 43:223–224

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kearsey MJ, Pooni HS (1996) The genetical analysis of quantitative traits, 1st edn. Chapman and Hall, London, UK

    Google Scholar 

  • Lin MC, Chen HP, Wang YF, Zhang WZ (1995) Evaluation of cowpea varieties resistant to cowpea leaf mould (Cercospora cruenta Sacc.). Crop Genet Resour 4:36–37

    Google Scholar 

  • Mather K (1949) Biometrical genetics, 1st edn. Methuen, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Mather K, Jinks JL (1982) Biometrical genetics, 3rd edn. Chapman and Hall, London, UK

    Google Scholar 

  • Mulder JL, Holliday P (1975) Cercospora cruenta. CMI Descriptions of Pathogenic Fungi and Bacteria No. 463

  • Mishra SP, Asthana AN, Yadav L (1988) Inheritance of Cercospora leaf spot resistance in Mung Bean, Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek. Plant Breed 100:228–229

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Quedraogo JT, Gowda BS, Jean M, Close TJ, Ehlers JD, Hall AE, Gillaspie AG, Roberts PA, Ismail AM, Bruening G, Gepts P, Timko MP, Belzile FJ (2002) An improved genetic linkage map for cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) Combining AFLP, RFLP, RAPD, biochemical markers, and biological resistance traits. Genome 45:175–188

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rachie KO, Bawal K, Franckowiok JK (1975) A rapid method of hand crossing cowpea. Technical Bulletin 2, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenkranz E, Scott GE (1984) Determination of the number of genes for resistance to maize dwarf mosaic virus strain a in five corn inbred lines. Phytopathology 74(1):71–76

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schneider RW, Williams RJ, Sinclair JB (1976) Cercospora leaf spot of cowpea: models for estimating yield loss. Phytopathology 66:384–388

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott GE, Rosenkranz E (1982) A method to determine the number of genes for resistance to maize dwarf mosaic in maize. Crop Sci 22:756–761

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Singh RK, Chaudhary BD (1977) Biometrical methods in quantitative genetic analysis. Kanyani publishers, Ludhiana, India, 2nd edn, 1979

  • Thakur RP, Patel PN, Verma JP (2002) Genetical relationships between reactions to bacterial leaf spot, yellow mosaic and Cercospora leaf spot in mungbean (Vigna radiata). Euphytica 26:765–774

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Umaharan P, Ariyanayagam RP, Haque SQ (1997) Response of cowpea genotypes [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] to artificial pollination in the tropics. Trop Agric (Trinidad), 74(1):39–44

    Google Scholar 

  • Vakili NG (1977) Field screening of cowpeas for Cercospora leaf spot resistance. Trop Agric (Trinidad) 54(1):70–76

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams RJ (1975) Diseases of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) in Nigeria. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 21(3):253–267

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams RJ (1977) Identification of multiple disease resistance in cowpea. Trop Agric (Trinidad) 54(1):53–59

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang WZ, Wang YF, Lin MC (1994) Genetic distance estimation and cluster analysis of some yardlong bean resources. Acta Hortic Sin 21(2):180–184

    Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to thank the following: Professor Uwe Braun; Prof. Pedro W. Crous and Dr. John C. David for their assistance in identification of the CLS pathogens; Dr. A. E. Hall for providing seed for cowpea line CB27 and Dr. C. A. Fatokun for providing seed of the ‘IT’ cowpea lines. The financial assistance provided to the senior author by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, under the Dean’s Scholarship for postgraduate study is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Pathmanathan Umaharan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Booker, H.M., Umaharan, P. Quantitative resistance to Cercospora leaf spot disease caused by Pseudocercospora cruenta in cowpea. Euphytica 162, 167–177 (2008).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Cercospora leaf spot
  • Polygenic
  • Oligogenic
  • Resistance
  • Vigna unguiculata