The effect of major resistance genes (Bs1, Bs2, and Bs3) or gene combinations for resistance to bacterial spot of bell peppers (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria) in 15 commercial cultivars on disease reduction and yield were studied during 1995 and 1996. Reaction of cultivars to specific races (races 1, 2, or 3) of the pathogen corresponded with seed company claims for resistance against these races. Races 1 to 4 were used as initial inoculum in 1995, and races 1 to 6 in 1996 field experiments. Cultivars with no known resistance genes to bacterial spot (e.g., Camelot, Jupiter, and Valiant), a single resistance gene (X3R Camelot, King Arthur), or a combination of Bs1 and Bs3 genes (Guardian, Sentinel, and Admiral) were severely diseased. Yields were reduced in all inoculated cultivars compared to non-inoculated cultivars used as controls. Although races 4 and 6 caused significant disease in cultivars with only Bs1 (King Arthur) or Bs2 (X3R Camelot) genes, cultivars with a combination of Bs1 and Bs2 (Boynton Bell, PR9300-8) had much lower levels of bacterial spot. Roger 4178, a hybrid with a combination of Bs1, Bs2, and Bs3 genes, had the lowest disease ratings. Overall, race 3 was predominant during 1995, while races 3 and 6 were recovered most frequently in 1996.