Phil McInnis Jr. and Bruce I. Reisch
Bruce I. Reisch, R. Stephen Luce and Anna Katharine Mansfield
Atsushi Kono, Akihiko Sato, Bruce Reisch and Lance Cadle-Davidson
Grapevine downy mildew (DM), caused by the oomycete Plasmopara viticola (Berk. & Curt.) Berlese & de Toni, is a major disease, especially in humid viticultural areas. Development of resistant cultivars is an important objective for grapevine breeding. To establish a reliable and inexpensive quantitative method to aid in breeding for DM resistance, we improved the method for counting the number of sporangia on leaf discs, and developed a method for counting the number of sporangia in solution. To prevent the loss of DM sporangia from adhesion onto plastic ware, we found as little as 0.01% Tween 20 was effective. On the other hand, this detergent was shown to have a severe inhibitory effect upon DM infection of leaves. We developed a sporangia counting method using dried droplets of DM suspensions, and the method was highly correlated with counting by hemacytometer (R 2 > 0.96). The nonparametric Spearman’s rank correlations between visual rating and the number of the sporangia were as high as ρ = 0.82 to 0.91, suggesting that evaluation by the visual rating could provide a good estimate of the sporangia numbers on leaf discs. We established a high-throughput and inexpensive method with acceptable accuracy for DM resistance evaluation based on a leaf disc assay, and our results suggested that visual ratings of infected leaf discs provide a good estimate of sporangia numbers.