One hundred-eighty six strawberry genotypes from the Univ. of California strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) breeding program were evaluated for resistance to Phytophthora cactorum Schroet. in trials conducted over 6 years; 60 of these genotypes were tested in 2 years or more. Mother plants of each genotype were grown in a propagation nursery beginning in June, and runner plants were set into soil infested with inoculum from a mix of four P. cactorum isolates in August or September of the same year. Runner plants of each genotype were harvested from the inoculated nursery, transferred to a fruiting field location, and evaluated for disease symptoms during the winter and spring following inoculation using a disease severity score. Significant variation for the disease severity score was detected due to years, genotypes, and their interaction. Differences among genotypes were responsible for 60.6% of the phenotypic variance, whereas years and year × genotype interactions contributed relatively little to this variance, 8.2% and 9.3%, respectively. A separate analysis conducted using a balanced subset of six cultivars that were present in all trial years detected variance components due to years and year × genotype interaction slightly smaller than those estimated for the complete trial, 5.0% and 3.9%, respectively. These results highlight the utility of the screening system and suggest that stable resistance to P. cactorum is obtainable in California strawberry breeding populations and production systems.
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