European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 134, Issue 4, pp 733-743

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Variation in aggressiveness is detected among Puccinia triticina isolates of the same pathotype and clonal lineage in the adult plant stage

  • Bénédicte PariaudAffiliated with
  • , Henriette GoyeauAffiliated withINRA
  • , Fabien HalkettAffiliated withINRA
  • , Corinne RobertAffiliated withINRA
  • , Christian LannouAffiliated withINRA Bioger Email author 


Puccinia triticina reproduces asexually in France and thus individual genotype is the unit of selection. A strong link has been observed between genotype identities (as assessed by microsatellite markers) and pathotypes (pools of individuals with the same combination of qualitative virulence factors). Here, we tested whether differences in quantitative traits of aggressiveness could be detected within those clonal lineages by comparing isolates of identical pathotype and microsatellite profile. Pairs of isolates belonging to different pathotypes were compared for their latent period, lesion size and spore production capacity on adult plants under greenhouse conditions, with a high number of replicates. Isolates of the same pathotype showed remarkably similar values for the measured traits, except in three situations: differences were obtained within two pathotypes for latent period and within one pathotype for sporulation capacity. One of these differences was tested again and confirmed. This indicates that the average aggressiveness level of a leaf rust pathotype may increase without any change in its virulence factors or microsatellite profile.


Genetic diversity Quantitative trait Leaf rust