Characterization of Partial Resistance to Black Spot Disease of Rosa sp.

in HortScience

Black spot disease, caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae Wolf, is one of the most serious diseases of garden roses. Both complete (vertical) resistance conditioned by dominant Rdr genes and partial (horizontal) resistance conditioned by multiple genes have been described. The use of resistant rose cultivars would reduce the demand of agrochemical applications. The characterization of 16 genotypes for resistance to black spot using two laboratory assays, the detached leaf assay (DLA) and the whole plant inoculation (WPI) approach, indicated that these techniques were well correlated. Thus, either method could be used to assess the resistance of the plants to black spot. Fifteen diploid hybrid populations from 10 parents segregating for partial (horizontal) resistance to black spot derived from Rosa wichuraiana ‘Basye’s Thornless’ (RW) were assessed for black spot resistance by quantifying the percentage of the leaf area with symptoms (LAS) and lesion length (LL) measured by the diameter of the largest lesion per leaf in DLAs. The narrow-sense heritability of partial resistance to black spot as measured by LAS and LL data of DLA was estimated to be from 0.28 to 0.43 when calculated with a genetic variance analysis and from 0.74 to 0.86 when generated from offspring–midparent regression. This suggests that the development of rose cultivars with high levels of stable partial resistance to black spot is a feasible approach for the rose industry.

Contributor Notes

This work was partially funded by Monsanto Fellows in Plant Breeding program, the Robert E. Basye Endowment in Rose Genetics, and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative project, “RosBREED: Combining disease resistance with horticultural quality in new Rosaceous cultivars.”

We thank the Hokanson lab at the University of Minnesota for supplying race 8 of Diplocarpon rosae used in this work.

Corresponding author. E-mail:



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    (A) Spores bearing acervuli on infected leaf surface of ‘Cl. Pinkie’. (B) Diagrammatic representation of leaf area with symptoms of black spot disease at 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, or 75% in detached leaf assay.

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    Correlation of leaf area with symptoms (LAS) and lesion length (LL) measurements of partial resistance after infection with race 8 of Diplocarpon rosae with the detached leaf assay method.

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    Correlation of the partial resistance to black spot race 8 as measured by leaf area with symptoms (LAS) and lesion length (LL) in detached leaf assays among individual seedlings of 15 diploid rose progenies.

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    The slope of offspring–midparent regressions estimates the narrow-sense heritability of 15 diploid populations measured by (A) leaf area with symptoms (LAS) and (B) lesion length (LL) from detached leaf assay inoculated by race 8 of Diplocarpon rosae with R2 indicating the fitness of the regression. Original data were transformed using a square root.


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