Bacterial blight is one of the most important diseases of yellow passion fruit. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a set of standard area diagram (SADs) to improve the accuracy and precision of bacterial blight severity assessments on yellow passion fruit leaves. The proposed SADs, composed of illustrations of symptomatic leaves with nine severity levels (1, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 62%), were evaluated by 15 raters. Accuracy, precision and reliability of the SADs were validated by quantifying and comparing the assessments performed by 15 raters with and without the use of SADs. The SADs improved accuracy (coefficient of bias, Cb = 0.940 without SADs and 0.967 with SADs), precision (correlation coefficient, r = 0.901 without SADs and 0.949 with SADs) and overall agreement (Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient, ρc = 0.863 without SADs and 0.935 with SADs) of severity estimates. Inter-rater reliability also significantly improved when the SADs were used (coefficient of determination, R2 = 0.717 without and R2 = 0.880 with the SADs; intra-class correlation, ρ = 0.798 without and ρ = 0.926 with the SADs). The developed SADs improved accuracy, precision and reliability of disease severity assessments and are recommended as an aid to assess bacterial blight on yellow passion fruit leaves.
Passiflora edulis; Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. passiflorae; Disease severity; Phytopathometry