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Screening for resistance to potato cyst nematode in Australian potato cultivars and alternative solanaceous hosts


The potato cyst nematodes (PCN), Globodera rostochiensis (Woll.) and G. pallida (Stone), are major pests of ware and seed potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) crops worldwide and severely impact the movement of potatoes around the globe through quarantine restrictions. In Australia, only G. rostochiensis has been discovered, on four separate occasions between 1986 and 2008. The infested areas are the subject of strict regulation and quarantine procedures and while they are considered to be contained, managing nematode populations remains a priority. This study has identified the G. rostochiensis Ro1 resistance-status of potato cultivars currently grown by Australian potato growers, and new cultivars emerging from the Australian Potato Breeding Program. Resistance was assessed by a simple and robust procedure carried out in a purpose-built quarantine facility. Of the 24 potato cultivars grown in the affected Koo Wee Rup district in 2004, 10 were resistant to nematode infestation, including the locally important cultivar Atlantic. Other cultivars important to the Victorian and Australian potato industry, such as Kennebec, Desiree, Sebago and Coliban, were classified as susceptible. Importantly, this study provided evidence that the Koo Wee Rup PCN population was able to complete its lifecycle on the native plant species, S. aviculare (kangaroo apple), potentially acting as an alternate host and spreading PCN among potato crops.

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We would like to thank John Anderson, John Marshall (New Zealand Plant & Food Research) and Finlay Dale (Scottish Crops Research Institute) for discussions on the screening protocol; Pat Sharkey and David Eagling (Victorian Department of Primary Industries) for permission to develop a quarantine facility for the trial; Craig Murdoch (Victorian Department of Primary Industries) for access to PCN cysts; Lila Nambier and Motuil Quader (Victorian Department of Primary Industries) for assessment of cyst numbers and viability; Keith Blackmore (Victorian Certified Seed Authority) for access to data on cultivar planting area; and Phil Keane (La Trobe University) for plant pathology expertise. This work was funded by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and Horticulture Australia Ltd.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Faggian.

Additional information

This work was funded by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and Horticulture Australia Ltd.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary Table 1

Results of the PCN resistance screening in Australia over three years (DOC 363 kb)

Supplementary Table 2

Comparison of Australian resistance screening results with the ECPD pathotype results (DOC 150 kb)

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Faggian, R., Powell, A. & Slater, A.T. Screening for resistance to potato cyst nematode in Australian potato cultivars and alternative solanaceous hosts. Australasian Plant Pathol. 41, 453–461 (2012).

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  • PCN
  • Resistance
  • Globodera
  • Breeding
  • Potato
  • S. aviculare