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Inheritance of Resistance to Anthracnose Fruit Rot Caused by Colletotrichum fioriniae in Highbush Blueberry
International Journal of Fruit Science  (IF1.359),  Pub Date : 2022-01-12, DOI: 10.1080/15538362.2021.2022567
Timothy D. Miles, James F. Hancock


Anthracnose fruit rot, caused by Colletotrichum spp. is a major disease of highbush blueberries. The inheritance of fruit rot resistance to C. fioriniae was investigated in crosses of parents with varying levels of susceptibility. Three cultivars with known resistance profiles (Bluecrop, Elliott, and Jersey) and progeny from 16 crosses of parents with varying levels of susceptibility were screened. Fruit of field-grown bushes was inoculated when immature, harvested when ripe, and rated for infection incidence after 5, 8, and 12 days of incubation at 100% RH and 22–23°C. Area under the disease progress curves (AUDPC) values were calculated for 2010 and 2011 and slightly higher disease pressure was observed in 2011. These values were then regressed against actual disease incidences of cultivars and predicted (midparent) values for cross families based on two previous studies in 2010 and 2011 and significant correlations with the proportion of fruit decayed and sporulation capacity were observed. These findings provide strong evidence that anthracnose resistance is heritable in highbush blueberries, which has important implications for anthracnose resistance breeding. Additionally, this research provides benchmark AUDPC values for evaluation of future breeding selections for their resistance to C. fioriniae.