Kale (Brassica oleracea L. acephala) is common in northwestern Spain where it is severely damaged by different insect pests. Damage could be reduced by using resistant varieties. The objectives of this work were to evaluate the resistance of kale populations to leaf damage by lepidopterous pests, to determine which traits are the best indicators of resistance, and finally to study the relationship between the glossy phenotype and resistance. Fifteen kale populations, sowed early and late, were evaluated at two locations in northwestern Spain. Significant differences among genotypes were found for all damage traits. Damage was not related to planting dates. Highest levels of damage were observed from July to November. Some populations with different performance under natural infestation in 1999 were again evaluated in 2000 under artificial infestation with Mamestra brassicae (L.) eggs. Two accessions, MBG-BRS0142 and MBG-BRS0170, showed resistance to attack by lepidopterous pests. Correlation coefficients among damage traits show that general appearance rating may be an useful indicator of resistance. Phenotype of kale with glossy leaves seems to be related to resistance although further research is needed.
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Vol. 96 • No. 1