Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Rd. Foran Hall, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
The dollar spot disease incited by Sclerotinia homoeocarpa is an important disease of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera). Genetic resistance is an important control strategy and could reduce fungicide use. Despite recent research, the genetic mechanism of dollar spot resistance in turfgrasses is still not fully understood. The objectives of this study were to (i) determine narrow-sense heritability and predicted gain from selection for dollar spot resistance in creeping bentgrass and (ii) evaluate inheritance characteristics of dollar spot disease resistance. Inheritance characteristics such as the detection of major genes, heterosis, maternal effects, and combining ability were determined by evaluating the disease severity of progeny from crosses between resistant and susceptible bent-grass clones. Parental clones and progenies from crosses were established in a field trial in a randomized complete block design and inoculated with one isolate of S. homoeocarpa applied at a rate of 0.25 g m-2 of prepared inoculum. Differences in progeny means between crosses were observed over both years. Progeny from resistant × resistant crosses had significantly less disease severity than resistant × susceptible and susceptible × susceptible crosses. High narrow-sense heritability estimates (0.79 , 0.79 ) and large mean squares for general combining ability support the idea that additive gene action plays a significant role in disease resistance and support previous research that dollar spot resistance is most likely quantitatively inherited.