The susceptibility of 16 peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) genotypes (eight Virginia and eight runner types) to southern stem rot (Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc.) was evaluated in field tests over three years. Mean disease incidence for all cultivars was 10.0, 15.4 and 16.4 disease loci per 12.2 m row and average yields were 3488, 2826 and 3569 kg/ha in 1986, 1987 and 1988, respectively. Disease incidence averaged 14.3 disease loci per 12.2 m of row for both market types. The mean yield for the eight Virginia types was 3287 kg/ha versus 3214 for the eight runner types. Culitvars within market types varied significantly in disease incidence and pod yield. Of the Virginia types, NC 6 and Florigiant were the most susceptible with NC 9, VA 81B and Early Bunch being the most resistant. Incidence of stem rot in runner cultivars was high except for Southern Runner and Langley which had about 50% less disease than the most susceptible entries. There was a highly significant correlation (P≤0.01) between yields and disease incidence all three years. Overall, Southern Runner had the lowest disease incidence and highest pod yield of any cultivar. Compared to Florunner, the current industry standard for runner types, Southern Runner had about 50% less disease and yields were 1346 kg/ha higher.

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Author notes

1Support for this research was provided by State and Hatch funds provided through the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station. Additional funding was provided by the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Peanuts.