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Variation for Resistance to Verticillium Wilt in Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)


Host resistance offers the most cost-effective method of Verticillium wilt control in lettuce (Lactuca sativa). In 2004 and 2005, 107 and 22 lettuce cultivars, respectively, were screened for resistance in a field infested with Verticillium dahliae, and disease progress on resistant and susceptible cultivars was determined. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to evaluate 16 cultivars for resistance to a race 1 and a race 2 isolate. Significant differences for resistance were observed within cultivated lettuce. In susceptible cultivars, disease levels increased through the season, whereas disease in resistant cultivars remained constant. Resistance in greenhouse tests was dependant upon the race used. Seven cultivars were resistant to race 1, whereas all were susceptible to race 2. Cultivar reactions to race 1 in greenhouse and field experiments were correlated, indicating the utility of greenhouse evaluations. The identification of resistance in diverse lettuce types is beneficial to the breeding process. However, because of the existence of resistance-breaking race 2 isolates, this resistance may not be durable. Alternatively, targeted releases of race-1-resistant cultivars to fields with only race 1 pathogen genotypes may extend the life of these cultivars.

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