Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 603–609 | Cite as

Resistance in natural populations of three wild Lactuca species from Israel to highly virulent Californian isolates of Bremia lactucae

  • Alex BeharavEmail author
  • Oswaldo Ochoa
  • Richard Michelmore
Research Article


Seedlings of 213 accessions representing 9, 14, and 10 Israeli natural populations of the wild Lactuca serriola, L. saligna, and L. aculeata, respectively, were initially screened for their resistance to a pathotype CAVIII isolate of Bremia lactucae. All 60 L. serriola accessions were susceptible while all 83 accessions of L. saligna were resistant. Out of the 69 L. aculeata accessions, 36 (52.2 %) were resistant. From those resistant accessions, 56 L. saligna and 23 L. aculeata accessions were then tested at the seedling stage for their reaction against five highly virulent isolates originating from California and representing the two current major pathotypes and a novel type of B. lactucae; true leaves of adult plants were also tested with two out of these five isolates. Our study supports previous observations that L. saligna is highly resistant to B. lactucae. However, our results provide additional evidence that L. saligna may not be an absolutely non-host plant for B. lactucae at least at a seedling stage, which is in agreement with other recent data for this species. Sixteen (69.6 %) out of the 23 L. aculeata accessions expressed resistance against all isolates tested, even in seedling stage as well as in true leaves of adult plants. This study is probably the first report of detailed screening of resistance to some B. lactucae isolates in natural populations of L. aculeata. These patterns of resistance reactions show that L. aculeata, a species within the primary lettuce gene pool, should be considered as an attractive source of germplasm for resistance breeding of cultivated lettuce (L. sativa).


Israel Lactuca Lettuce downy mildew Plant genetic resources Race-specific resistance Wild lettuce 



We thank The California Leafy Greens Research Board for financial support of the RWM program. We wish to thank Mr. Alvaro Martinez (The Genome Center, University of California, Davis) for his technical assistance in the LDM screens, and Dr. Hanan Sela (The Institute for Cereal Crops Improvement, Tel Aviv University, Israel) for his production of Fig. 1.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Beharav
    • 1
    Email author
  • Oswaldo Ochoa
    • 2
    • 3
  • Richard Michelmore
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of EvolutionUniversity of HaifaMt. Carmel, HaifaIsrael
  2. 2.The Genome CenterUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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