Bioassay forin vitrodifferentiation of pineapple cultivar resistance levels to heart rot disease

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SummaryAn in vitro bioassay to differentiate pineapple plant resistance levels to Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica (heart rot disease) is deseribed here. Conditions to cause death of in vitro-cultured plants were defined using a cultivar previously found to be susceptible to this fungus in our Field-Grown Pineapple Germplasm Bank (ev. Smooth Cayenne Serrana). The effects of zoospore concentration, inoculation technique, and disease progress during the course of time after infection were evaluated. The highest rates of plant death were observed with the use of 108 zoospores ml−1, and the inoculation technique of needle-mediated leaf base wound. One hundred percent plant death was observed at 144h after infection. Different susceptible varieties along with a resistant pineapple relative were additionally compared. In vitro results confirmed previous observations obtained under field conditions. The protocol described here may be used for early selection (in vitro) of new pineapple genotypes showing resistance to this fungus. At present, this protocol is extensively used in the Biotechnology-assisted Cuban Program for Pineapple Breeding.

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