Evaluation of Roses from the Earth-Kind (R) Trials: Black Spot (Diplocarpon rosae Wolf) Resistance and Ploidy Academic Article uri icon


  • Regional, replicated cultivar trials of landscape roses are an ongoing component of the Earth-Kind program, which was started at Texas A&M University in the 1990s to support environmental landscape stewardship. The rose trials within the Earth-Kind program identify and promote the most regionally adapted rose cultivars and are conducted without fertilizers or pesticides and greatly reduced irrigation. Black spot (caused by Diplocarpon rosae Wolf) is the most serious disease of outdoor-grown roses worldwide as a result of the potential for rapid leaf yellowing and defoliation. Earth-Kind designated cultivars for the southcentral United States and roses under trial in other regions or considered for future Earth-Kind trials (n = 73 roses) and two susceptible control cultivars were challenged with North American Races 3, 8, and 9 of D. rosae, which were previously characterized at the University of Minnesota. Young expanded leaves were inoculated using detached leaf assays. Lesion length (LL) was measured for susceptible reactions and cultivar ploidy was determined using root tip squashes. Diploid, triploid, and tetraploid cultivars (n = 20, 30, and 23, respectively) were identified, and race-specific resistances and partial resistances were also identified. Race-specific resistance was generally more prevalent in newer rose cultivars and rose cultivars more recently included in Earth-Kind trials. Nine cultivars were resistant to all three races (Brite Eyes, Grouse, Home Run, Knock Out, Paprika, Peachy Cream, Pink Knock Out, Rainbow Knock Out, and Yellow Submarine). Blushing Knock Out, a sport of Knock Out, was susceptible to Race 8. Partial resistance rank for LL was generally consistent across races for roses susceptible to multiple races. The application of these data includes: characterizing the minimum resistance level needed for roses to warrant inclusion in Earth-Kind field trials, the identification of additional race-specific resistance genes, identifying resistance-breaking isolates of D. rosae, understanding race composition in field trials based on infection patterns of key cultivars, selection of parents for resistance breeding efforts, and continued comparisons between LL and growing bodies of Earth-Kind field resistance data.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Zlesak, D. C., Whitaker, V. M., George, S., & Hokanson, S. C.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Zlesak, David C||Whitaker, Vance M||George, Steve||Hokanson, Stan C

publication date

  • December 2010