The effect of potato variety mixtures on epidemics of late blight, in relation to plot size and level of resistance
Phillips, S.L., Shaw, M.W. and Wolfe, M.S. (2005) The effect of potato variety mixtures on epidemics of late blight, in relation to plot size and level of resistance. Annals of Applied Biology, 147 (3). pp. 245-252. ISSN 0003-4746
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7348.2005.00027.x
Potatoes of a number of varieties of contrasting levels of resistance were planted in pure or mixed stands in four experiments over 3 years. Three experiments compared the late blight severity and progress in mixtures with that in pure stands. Disease on susceptible or moderately resistant varieties typical of those in commercial use was similar in mixtures and pure stands. In 2 of 3 years, there were slight reductions on cv. Sante, which is moderately susceptible, in mixture with cv. Cara, which is moderately resistant. Cara was unaffected by this mixture. Mixtures of an immune or near-immune partner with Cara or Sante substantially reduced disease on the latter. The effect of the size of plots of individual varieties or mixtures on blight severity was compared in two experiments. Larger plots had a greater area under the disease progress curve, but the average rate of disease progress was greater in smaller plots; this may be because most disease progress took place later, under more favourable conditions, in the smaller plots. In one experiment, two planting densities were used. Density had no effect on disease and did not interact with mixture effects. The overall conclusion is that, while mixtures of potato varieties may be desirable for other reasons, they do not offer any improvement on the average of the disease resistance of the components.