Bacterial leaf spot of lettuce, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians, is a devastating disease of lettuce worldwide. Because there are no chemicals available for effective control of the disease, host-plant resistance is highly desirable to protect lettuce production. A new method for fast screening and accurate identification of bacterial leaf spot (BLS)-resistant lettuce has been developed in our laboratory. A total of 79 lettuce genotypes (69 germplasm lines and 10 adapted cultivars) were evaluated with this technique for response to X. c. vitians. Disease incidences ranged from 92% to 100% and disease severities were between 1.6 and 3.6 on the 0 to 4 scale. No highly resistant genotypes were identified. However, 12 genotypes did not significantly differ for disease severities from the moderately resistant ‘Little Gem’ lettuce that was used as a resistant control. Comparison of disease severities of 10 commercial cultivars and three moderately resistant germplasm lines tested at the seedling stage and adult stage showed a high positive correlation (r = 0.87, P < 0.0001) between tests. The new screening method should be useful in breeding programs, in which great numbers of plants need to be tested during germplasm evaluation, and for single plant selection as well as other studies. The identification of new sources of moderate resistance in this study could facilitate development of cultivars with a higher level of resistance through the gene pyramiding approach.
Bacterial leaf spot (BLS) disease, caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians (Xcv) has become an increasingly damaging disease in the lettuce production areas of the United States. To understand the nature of the outbreaks of this disease, the pathogenic variations for causing disease were evaluated on 29 lettuce cultivars and germplasm lines using three Xcv isolates recovered in different years from the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) of Florida. Significant differences were shown in both the BLS incidences and disease severities among the three Xcv isolates, and the rank from high virulence to less severity was L7 > JF196 > NF1. Our results suggest that the pathogenic variations of the isolates may have been associated with the epidemic outbreaks of BLS in EAA. Among the 29 lettuce genotypes, the host plant resistance was characterized by specific host genotype and Xcv isolate interactions. The leaf lettuce PI358001-1 was consistently in the high resistant category to all three Xcv isolates, and is a promising resistant source for development of resistant cultivars.
Fusarium wilt of lettuce is caused by the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae (Fol) and is a growing threat to global lettuce production. Fol was first detected in Florida in 2017 and was subsequently confirmed as race 1. Management strategies for this long-persisting soil pathogen are limited, time-consuming and expensive, and they may lack efficacy. Identifying diverse sources of genetic resistance is imperative for breeding adapted cultivars with durable resistance. The objectives of this study were to identify sources of resistance against a race 1 isolate of Fol in Florida, delineate the relationship between foliar and taproot symptoms, and investigate the inheritance of resistance and partial resistance in two F2 populations. Thirteen experiments were conducted in greenhouse and field locations to characterize the diversity of genetic resistance in the genus Lactuca. Leaf cultivars Dark Lollo Rossa and Galactic; romaine breeding lines 43007, 60182, and C1145; and iceberg breeding line 47083 consistently exhibited low foliar and taproot disease symptoms. Resistance was not identified among the wildtype Lactuca or primitive plant introductions (PI) in this study based on taproot symptoms. An additional test was conducted to study the segregation pattern of Fol resistance between one resistant and one susceptible accession (R × S) and one partial resistant and one susceptible accession (PR × S). The F2 population from ‘60182 × PI 358001-1’ fit the expected segregation ratio for a single recessive locus model, whereas the ratio for ‘Dark Lollo Rossa × PI 358001-1’ did not fit either recessive or dominant single locus models. These sources of resistance are potential candidates for developing commercial cultivars with multiple resistance loci against Fol race 1, especially for the Florida lettuce production system.