During the summers of 2012 and 2013, 39 tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) lines or varieties were evaluated for resistance to late blight in three separate field trials. In each trial, late blight was caused by field isolates of Phytophthora infestans clonal lineage US-23. Varieties with the late blight resistance genes Ph-1, Ph-2, Ph-3, and Ph-2 + Ph-3 were included, along with several heirloom varieties with grower-reported resistance and varieties with no known resistance. All six varieties with Ph-2 + Ph-3, along with NC25P, which is homozygous for Ph-3 only, showed a high level of resistance. Plum Regal F1, which is heterozygous for Ph-3 only, showed moderate resistance. Legend, the only variety with Ph-2 alone, also showed moderate resistance. Three heirloom varieties, Matt's Wild Cherry, Lemon Drop, and Mr. Stripey, showed a high level of resistance comparable with that of varieties with Ph-2 + Ph-3. New Yorker, possessing Ph-1 only, showed no resistance. Indeterminate varieties had significantly less disease than determinate varieties in two of the three trials. Overall, this study suggests that tomato varieties with both Ph-2 and Ph-3 can be used to effectively manage late blight caused by P. infestans clonal lineage US-23. Varieties possessing only Ph-2, or heterozygous for Ph-3, were better protected than those without any late blight resistance but might still require supplemental fungicide applications, while the variety that was homozygous for Ph-3 was highly resistant. Several heirloom varieties were also highly resistant, and the unknown mechanism of their resistance warrants further research. Finally, the plasticity observed in United States P. infestans populations over the past several decades necessitates continued monitoring for genetic changes within P. infestans that could lead to the breakdown of resistance reported here.
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