Susceptibility of German spring barley cultivars to loose smut populations from different European origins
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Forty-two registered spring barley cultivars from the German official list were tested under natural infection conditions for susceptibility to loose smut (Ustilago tritici f.sp. hordei) during two test cycles at two locations. Only cv. Steffi was found to be resistant to the local loose smut population. Cultivar Sigrid showed lowest susceptibility because of flowering inside the leaf sheath. Less than 1% infection at all sites showed up in cvs Auriga, Jacinta and Hendrix. Twenty-one cultivars had an infection rate of less than 2%. Cultivar Danuta displayed the highest susceptibility with an average of 12.6%. Another 23 spring barley accessions with expected loose smut resistance were inoculated artificially with loose smut populations obtained from 11 locations in Germany and neighbouring countries. Only Jet with the resistance Un3/6, CDC Freedom with Un8, CIho9973 with quantitative resistance, as well as Lino and GangTuoQuingKeHao1 remained disease-free. In addition to these, another eight accessions in this test group are recommended to become part of a differential tester set to distinguish origins of loose smut. Statistical analysis showed that for scoring of cultivars more importance has to be given to the number of locations for infestation than to the number of test locations to determine the degree of attack. In view of the existing inspection limits for production of certified seed in European countries, the currently registered German barley cultivars put organic seed producers and breeders at high risk in respect to loose smut infection, if the number of generations for multiplication under organic farming increases.
KeywordsHordeum vulgare inspection limits Ustilago nuda virulence
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The trials were supported by the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture under project number 01HS027. With the help of breeders and scientists from Germany and related countries it was possible to collect the loose smut populations from different locations. Hartmut Spiess was in charge of the second test location, Dottenfelderhof. Irina Terentieva from St.Petersburg, Helmut Knuepffer from Gatersleben, Harold Bockelman from Aberdeen/Idaho and Brian Rossnagel from Saskatoon made available the genetic resources, and participants of EU COST Action 860 (SUSVAR) collated data on seed inspection rejection levels from many European countries. I would like to thank them all for their assistance.
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