Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) caused by Cercospora traversiana is an important phyto-pathological problem of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.), a multiuse legume crop. Field screenings for resistant plants, although accurate and effective, demand significant time and a sizable workforce to accomplish. Also, weather conditions in the field may not always be favourable for uniform disease spread, which eventually may lead to failure of the overall experiment. Whole-plant assays (WPA) and detached leaf assays (DLA) with artificial inoculation not only help in scaling up the number of plants screened but also reduce the space, time, and amount of inoculum needed for the experiment. The results from our two experiments indicate that both the WPA and DLA methods can be used reliably to differentiate resistant and susceptible genotypes of fenugreek. In addition, the correlation coefficient between WPA and DLA (r = 0.875, P < 0.01), derived from the mean disease score of each genotype, shows that they can be used interchangeably while screening fenugreek for CLS. DLA was found to be temperature-sensitive for the development of CLS symptoms and wounded leaves developed symptoms faster than non-wounded leaves. These indoor methods can be used for the development of CLS-resistant fenugreek cultivars in areas where disease development is difficult under field conditions.
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Vol. 99 • No. 3