U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Date of this Version



Eur J Plant Pathol (2013) 135:525–543; DOI 10.1007/s10658-012-0153-8


White mold, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is a devastating fungal disease of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) worldwide. Physiological resistance and disease avoidance conferred by plant architecture-related traits contribute to white mold field resistance. Our objective was to further examine white mold disease avoidance in common bean. A comparative map composed of 79 quantitative trait loci (QTL) for white mold resistance (27), disease avoidance traits (36) and root traits (16) was generated. Thirteen white mold resistance QTL, six with strong and seven with weak associations with disease avoidance traits, were observed. Root length and lodging QTL co-located in three regions. Canopy porosity and height, and lodging were highly correlated with disease severity score in field screening trials conducted from 2000 to 2011. Resistance to lodging was extremely important for reducing disease severity in both dry and snap bean (r= 0.61 across 11 trials). Avoidance traits were less effective in reducing disease severity in trials with heavy disease pressure. Dry bean lines with physiological resistance in combination with disease avoidance traits did not require fungicide application to protect yield potential under moderate and heavy disease pressure. Given the complexity of disease resistance as evidenced by the comparative QTL map, marker-assisted breeding for disease avoidance is not recommended at this time. Instead, selecting for resistance to white mold in the field, in combination with high yield potential and acceptable maturity, is the recommended strategy for improving both disease avoidance and physiological resistance to white mold in cultivars with commercially acceptable agronomic traits.