A method to measure aggressiveness of Plasmopara halstedii (sunflower downy mildew).
For the first time, a method was used to measure aggressiveness of two Plasmopara halstedii races (100 and 710), the parasite causing sunflower downy mildew. Two sunflower lines showing different levels of quantitative resistance were used to measure two aggressiveness criteria: latent period and sporulation density. A strain of race 100 had a shorter latent period and greater sporulation density than a strain of race 710. The sunflower inbred line BT, rather susceptible in the field, presented a greater sporulation density and a shorter latent period than another inbred line FU, which shows greater resistance in the field. These results indicated that race 100 was more aggressive than race 710. The behaviour in the field of the two inbred lines was confirmed in the laboratory observations.