, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 685-697

Interplot interference and the assessment of barley cultivars for partial resistance to leaf rust, Puccinia hordei

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Summary

The barley cultivars Akka, highly susceptible, and ‘Vada’, partially resistant to barley leaf rust, Puccinia hordei, were evaluated for the amount of leaf rust in five experimental field plot situations over three successive years. The field plot situations were: A) plots well isolated from each other by distance and non-leaf rust contributing host plants; B) adjacent plots of 4×41/2 m (18 rows); C) adjacent plots of 4×11/2 m (6 rows); D) adjacent plots of 4×1/4 m (1 row); E) adjacent plots of only one plant (cultivar mixtures).

The sporulating leaf area of each plot was measured from samples of 20 tillers taken at random from each plot. In each year the difference in sporulating area between ‘Akka’ and ‘Vada’ was large to very large in the absence of interplot interference in the isolated plots, ranging from 150 to 2100 times. In the adjacent plots the partial resistance of ‘Vada’ was greatly underestimated, 5 to 16 times in the situation B, 14 to 30 times in C, and 75 to 130 times in D and E.

Testing lines or cultivars in adjacent plots is the standard procedure in use in breeding programs and in tests of cultivars for their agricultural value. To avoid such under estimation the following procedure is suggested. A few cultivars representing the known range of partial resistance and whose level of partial resistance is well known are evaluated together with the lines and cultivars whose partial resistance has to be assessed. This is demonstrated with a number of cultivars of which resistance values are know from the recommended variety lists for England and Wales. Cultivars have been assessed in Wageningen over four years together with the check cultivars Akka, Sultan, Julia and Vada representing the range of partial resistance with values (on a 1 to 10 scale) of 1, 3–4, 7 and 8 respectively, based on isolated plots experiments.