Screening Tomato Seedlings for Resistance to Bacterial Spot

in HortScience
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  • 1 University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 5007 60th Street East, Bradenton, FL 34203

A `spray-inoculation seedling screening procedure was developed for detecting resistance to Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Doidge) Dye, causal agent of bacterial spot of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Two-week-old transplants were preconditioned under 95% humidity for 16 hours before spray inoculation and then rated for bacterial spot 2 weeks later. Resistant plants could also be distinguished from susceptible genotypes using a modified bacterial speck [Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Okabe) Young, Dye, and Wilkie] screening procedure (cotyledon-dip technique). When results of both screening methods were compared to field ratings from three previous seasons, significant correlations were more frequently observed for the spray-inoculation method. In Summer 1991, individual plants were evaluated by the spray-inoculation technique and then were placed in the field to determine susceptibility under field conditions. Correlations (r = 0.28 to 0.34) between spray-inoculation seedling screening ratings and field ratings, although low, were significant (P ≤ 0.0001). More than 90% of susceptible plants could be eliminated, saving labor, space, and time.