, Volume 103, Issue 9, pp 835-841

Field efficiency of Brassica napus specific resistance correlates with Leptosphaeria maculans population structure

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Field experiments were conducted in Versailles, France, to assess blackleg resistance of Brassica napus cultivars Quinta and Glacier under natural infection conditions. Blackleg disease severity was assessed twice during growth of B. napus. Quinta resistance was highly expressed as only 13% to 18% of the plants exhibited leaf symptoms in December, whereas Glacier and other cultivars displayed more than 80% of infected plants. In June (harvest), 70% (first year) to 41.5% (second year) of Quinta plants were canker-free. In contrast, Glacier was as infected as the susceptible control cultivars, with more than 88% of plants displaying canker. The Leptosphaeria maculans population structure was examined in parallel. Based on soluble protein patterns, 9% of the 299 fungal isolates collected were characterized as Tox0 species, and belonged to the NA1 sub-group. All but two of Tox0 isolates were isolated from atypical dark necrotic leaf lesions, mainly occurring on Quinta. In contrast, the Tox+ isolates were recovered from typical leaf lesions. Following a cotyledon inoculation test on the differential set Westar, Quinta and Glacier, 92 to 95% of Tox+ isolates collected on susceptible cultivars were characterized as PG3 isolates, i.e. avirulent on Quinta. The remaining Tox+ isolates belong to PG4, i.e. virulent on the three cultivars. No PG2 isolate, i.e. avirulent on both Quinta and Glacier, was identified in the sampling. The present study suggests that specific resistance expressed at the cotyledon level can be efficient under field conditions where the corresponding avirulent races of the pathogen are prevalent.