The responses of 12 soybean cultivars to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum were evaluated under field and controlled environment conditions. The 12 cultivars were planted in fields naturally or artificially infested with S. sclerotiorum and evaluated for disease incidence. In controlled environment studies, the cultivars were compared with respect to lesion size on detached leaves and stems inoculated with mycelial disks, incidence of stem rot following mycelial inoculation of foliage, lesion lengths on stems discolored by oxalic acid, and levels of soluble pigment(s) in stems. Significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) in disease incidence, lesion sizes, and levels of soluble pigment(s) were detected among the 12 cultivars in all evaluations, but ranking of cultivars varied among methods and experiments within methods. Corsoy 79 and S19-90 were consistently most resistant in all methods; whereas Kenwood, A2242, Bell, and Williams 82 were least resistant. Pearson correlation coefficients (R) for disease incidence between location years in field experiments (FE) ranged from 0.86 to 0.95. R values between FE and controlled environment experiments (CEE) ranged from 0.01 to 0.62 for detached leaf assays (DLA), -0.20 to 0.47 for lesion lengths on stems inoculated with mycelial disks (LLM), 0.38 to 0.45 for incidence of stem rot from mycelial inoculation of foliage (MIF), 0.08 to 0.66 for lesion lengths on stems discolored by oxalic acid (LLO), and -0.55 to -0.37 for levels of soluble stem pigment(s) (SSP). Absolute values of R between FE and CEE were 0.40 or greater in 40, 17, 33, 29, and 83% of all correlation analyses for DLA, LLM, MIF, LLO, and SSP, respectively. Spearman's coefficients of rank correlation (r
s) between FE and CEE based on average performance were 0.55, -0.20, 0.40, 0.42, and -0.44 for DLA, LLM, MIF, LLO, and SSP, respectively. Disease development was slow when foliage was inoculated with a mycelial suspension. Based on experiment (E) by cultivar (C) interaction and rs values between replicate experiments within each method, determination of soluble stem pigment levels (0.86 ≤ rs ≤ 0.97; P < 0.001 for 100% of six analyses; P = 0.98 for E × C interaction) and measurement of lesion lengths on stems discolored by oxalic acid (0.27 ≤ rs ≤ 0.85; rs ≥ 0.58 and P ≤ 0.05 for 68% of 28 analyses; P = 0.07 for E × C interaction) were the most repeatable methods. The results from this study suggest that determination of levels of soluble pigments in stems, measurement of lesion lengths on stems discolored by oxalic acid, and the detached leaf assay may be better than mycelial inoculation of stems or foliage in evaluating soybean cultivars for field resistance to S. sclerotiorum.
colonized carrot inoculation,
excised stem technique,
limited term inoculation