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Charles E. Christianson, Stephen S. Jones, and Lindsey J. du Toit

Xanthomonas hortorum pv. carotae (Xhc) causes bacterial blight of carrot (Daucus carota L.), is endemic in the primary regions of carrot seed production, and is readily seed-transmitted. Genetic resistance to Xhc is not well documented in commercially available carrot cultivars, and there has been little public research on screening for resistance. Carrot PI lines (n = 66), public inbred lines (n = 2), and commercial cultivars (n = 17) were assessed for response to Xhc in a greenhouse in 2012 based on the incidence and severity of bacterial blight symptoms after inoculation as well as Xhc population [colony-forming units (CFU)/g dry foliage] detected by dilution plating onto XCS agar, a semiselective medium for Xhc. Severity of bacterial blight averaged 8.8% ± 0.4% (mean ± se) with a range of 0% to 50%, and size of the Xhc population detected on the foliage averaged 8.16 × 109 ± 1.07 × 109 CFU/g (range, 1.38 × 104 to 3.28 × 1011 CFU/g) for individual plants. Eight putative resistant PI lines and five highly susceptible PI lines selected from the 2012 screening were evaluated again in 2013 with an additional two PI lines, 12 cultivars, two inbred lines, and 12 carrot wild relatives. In the 2013 trial, severity of foliar blight 6 weeks post-inoculation ranged from 0% to 90% (11.8% ± 0.4%), and Xhc population ranged from 4.90 × 104 to 1.30 × 1011 CFU/g dry foliage (1.00 × 1010 ± 5.29 × 108 CFU/g) for individual plants. Spearman’s correlation coefficient between the Xhc population detected and severity of bacterial blight was highly significant in the 2012 and 2013 trials (r = 0.52 and 0.62, respectively, at P < 0.0001). PI lines 418967, 432905, and 432906 were the most resistant based on Xhc population detected and could be used to develop resistant cultivars. Of the 12 carrot wild relatives screened, only Ames 7674 and SS10 OR displayed a relatively low severity of bacterial blight and population of Xhc on the foliage.