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A Glasshouse Cropping Method for Screening Lettuce Lines for Resistance to Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum


A soil-based glasshouse crop procedure was developed to screen lettuce lines for resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Six sequential crops of 19 different lettuce lines with a range of cultural morphologies, reported previously to exhibit some form of resistance to S. sclerotiorum, were planted in a glasshouse infested with S. sclerotiorum and natural disease development compared with a standard susceptible commercial butterhead cultivar, Rachel. Concomitantly, the same lettuce lines were planted in pots in a nearby glasshouse, were artificially inoculated with ascospores of S. sclerotiorum, assessed for infection and scored for disease severity. Most of lines exhibited resistance in at least one of the crop or direct inoculation assessments with wild form, PI 251246, and stem lettuce, Taiwan, exhibiting resistance in three of the assessments and wild form, PI 271938 (Lactuca serriola), and Iceberg (crisp) line, 74-1076, exhibiting resistance in all four assessments. Cos line, PI 250427, was less resistant than the standard control in all assessments. The crop based screen with predictable, natural disease development was the most discriminating overall assessment and enabled growth habit to be taken into account during the screening process which was not possible through the direct inoculation procedures. Nevertheless, the novel ascospore inoculation screening process provided information on the type of resistance expressed that could not be identified from the cropping procedure.

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Whipps, J.M., Budge, S.P., McClement, S. et al. A Glasshouse Cropping Method for Screening Lettuce Lines for Resistance to Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum . European Journal of Plant Pathology 108, 373–378 (2002).

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  • breeding
  • disease
  • lettuce drop
  • susceptibility