Laboratory (Spieckermann) tests, pot tests and field tests provided concordant evidence for the partial nature of resistance of potatoes to pathotypes 1 (D1) and 6 (O1) of Synchytrium endobioticum. Susceptible potato cultivars produced large warts (> 16 mm in diameter) in Spieckermann tests and had low field resistance levels (1-6). Field-resistant cultivars (levels 7-9) produced small warts or no warts at all in Spieckermann and field tests. In pot tests, at low inoculum levels (1 sporangium per 25 g soil) susceptible cultivars still developed warts, whereas field-resistant ones did not develop any warts below 25 sporangia per g soil. Above 35 sporangia per g soil, 100% disease incidence was observed in susceptible cultivars but only minimal wart development in field-resistant ones. Tests with continuous cultivation of potato cultivars in infected soil during three consecutive years showed that field-resistant cultivars will not support build-up of inoculum in soil. It is concluded that field-resistant cultivars do not create a risk of secondary infection, the criterion given for resistance in EU Directive 69/464/EC.