Rating scales for assessing infection responses of barley infected with Cochliobolus sativus

Thomas G. Fetch, Brian J. Steffenson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Spot blotch, caused by Cochliobolus sativus, is a common foliar disease of barley that is controlled primarily through the deployment of resistant cultivars. Resistance is often assessed at the seedling and adult plant stages, but currently no comprehensive visual scale exists that describes the full spectrum of infection responses (IRs) occurring on barley. From the evaluation of a diverse collection of barley germ plasm and C. sativus isolates, a 1 to 9 IR scale was developed based on the type (presence of necrosis and chlorosis) and relative size of spot blotch lesions observed on the second leaves of barley seedlings. The nine IRs were classified into three general categories of low (IRs 1 to 3), intermediate (IRs 4 and 5), and high (IRs 6 to 9) host-parasite compatibility. Low IRs consisted of minute to small necrotic lesions with no or very slight diffuse marginal chlorosis. Intermediate IRs consisted of medium-sized necrotic lesions with a distinct but restricted chlorotic margin, while high IRs consisted of large necrotic lesions with distinct chlorotic margins and varying degrees of expanding diffuse chlorosis. In addition to the seedling IR scale, a four-class adult plant IR scale (R = resistant, MR = moderately resistant, MS = moderately susceptible, and S = susceptible) was developed based again on the type and relative size of lesions present on the leaves. These rating scales should be useful for many types of studies on spot blotch of barley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalPlant disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Disease assessment
  • Hordeum vulgare
  • Host-parasite genetics
  • Resistance


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