Asiatic citrus canker (ACC) is an important disease of citrus in Brazil and elsewhere in the world. Infection with the causal pathogen, Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, can cause severe disease on the fruit. Visual estimation of severity is the usual method used to quantify ACC on diseased fruit. The objective of this research was to construct and validate standard area diagram (SAD) sets as assessment aids for raters to improve the accuracy and reliability of visual estimates of ACC on unripe (green) fruit of sweet orange. Two SAD sets were constructed. A five-diagram SAD set had five severities depicted (0.5, 2.0, 8.0, 27.0, and 40.0%) and a six-diagram SAD set had six severities depicted (0.5, 1.0, 3.0, 9.0, 20.0, and 40.0%). Fifteen raters evaluated 40 images of cankered, unripe fruit. Both the five- and six-diagram SAD sets significantly improved the accuracy and reliability of estimates. Agreement, measured by Lin's concordance correlation coefficient, was 0.220 to 0.913 when not using SADs, 0.814 to 0.955 when using five-diagram SAD sets, and 0.863 to 0.925 when using six-diagram SAD sets. The five-diagram SAD set was significantly more accurate and reliable compared with the six-diagram set. Possible reasons for this are discussed. Based on the results, the five-diagram SAD set is preferable to use. Although the SAD set was developed for sweet orange, it doubtless has applicability to other citrus, including grapefruit. These SAD sets should be useful for research endeavors where accurate and reliable estimates of the severity of ACC are required.
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