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Reliability and Accuracy of Visual Estimation of Phomopsis Leaf Blight of Strawberry

August 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  8
Pages  995 - 1,005

M. Nita , M. A. Ellis , and L. V. Madden

Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Wooster 44691

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Accepted for publication 3 March 2003.

Six different individuals (raters) assessed the severity of Phomopsis leaf blight on strawberry leaflets in five experimental repetitions over 2 years by making a direct visual estimation of the percentage of diseased area of each leaflet or by using the Horsfall-Barratt (H-B) disease scale. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability and accuracy were determined, and then the relationship between visually estimated severity values and actual severity values was evaluated. Agreement in estimated disease severity values between assessment times by the same raters (i.e., intra-rater reliability), and agreement in disease severity values among raters at a single assessment time (i.e., inter-rater reliability), were both high, with most correlation coefficients being greater than 0.85. The intra-class correlation for overall agreement among raters ranged from 0.80 to 0.96 for the five repetitions. Based on the concordance coefficient calculated for each rater in each repetition, agreement between estimated and actual severity (i.e., accuracy) was somewhat lower than reliability. The relationship between estimated and actual severity was linear, and there was a slight trend to overestimate disease severity. The H-B scale was not more reliable or accurate than direct estimation of severity, and the linear relationship between estimated and actual severity did not support the principles underling the H-B scale. Both size of leaflets and number of lesions per leaflet slightly affected the error in estimate of disease severity.

Additional keywords: models, Phomopsis obscurans , reproducibility.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society