This experiment was carried out to investigate whether and how much field resistance to late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, is present in the local cultivated potato germplasm. In total 36 entries were compared in a field experiment in an area highly conducive to late blight development. Of the 36 cultivars 32 were local cultivars belonging to five Solanum species, S. tuberosum (1 accession), S. andigena (18), S. juzepczukii (2), S. stenotomum (9) and S. ajanhuiri (2). The other four cultivars were derived from breeding programmes, one being the Dutch cultivar Alpha used as a highly susceptible control. The 36 cultivars were planted according to a simple 6 × 6 lattice design with three replicates. Each replicate was divided in six incomplete blocks each with six cultivars. The disease severity was assessed weekly during 9 weeks starting 48 days after planting. The area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) was used as a measure of the field resistance. Nine isolates from surrounding potato fields were tested for their virulence to the resistance genes R1¿R11 using 22 differential cultivars. The components of the field resistance of 19 of these cultivars were compared in the greenhouse using a local isolate with virulence to all known R-genes, except to R9. The nine isolates represented seven races with a race complexity varying from 7 to 10 virulence factors. All isolates carried virulence against R1, R2, R3, R7, R10 and R11, while virulence against R9 was absent. The AUDPC among the 32 local cultivars ranged from very large, significantly larger than that of `Alpha¿ to very small. The AUDPC from S. stenotomum accessions ranged from very large to intermediate, those from S. andigena accessions from large to very small. Especially among the S. andigena accessions interesting levels of field resistance were found. Four components of field resistance were assessed, latency period (LP), lesion size (LS), lesion growth rate (LGR) and relative sporulation area (RSA). All four showed a considerable variation among the cultivars. The LP ranged from 3½ to 6 days. The LS ranged from 225 mm2 to 20 mm2. The LGR varied about six-fold, the RSA more than 10-fold. The components tended to vary in association with one another. LP and LGR were well associated with each other and had a significant correlation with the AUDPC.
- late blight