A high-throughput glasshouse based screening method to evaluate bacterial blight resistance in field pea (Pisum sativum)


A high-throughput and reliable method to screen field pea germplasm for bacterial blight resistance was developed. The method uses spray inoculation of seedlings in small pots with a bacterial suspension followed by incubation in a glasshouse. This is less laborious compared to previous stab-inoculation methods, and takes less than 1 month (c.a. 25–27 days) from seed sowing to disease assessment. It uses a surfactant to achieve good coverage of bacterial suspension and required leaf wetness for progression of the disease. Disease symptoms in the glasshouse were similar to those observed in field, and data were highly correlated with those from field experiments. The method was validated using individual and combination of isolates of Pseudomonas syringae pathovars pisi and/or syringae to test their ability to effectively differentiate between resistant and susceptible pea genotypes. Screening of diverse field pea landraces and wild relatives using present screening method has identified potentially new sources of resistance to P. syringae pvs pisi and syringae. The developed method is being used to evaluate bacterial blight resistance within the Australian field pea breeding program.

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Funding was provided by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (Project DAV00117). Our sincere thanks are to Dr Michael Materne for securing funding for this project and Dr T. Leonforte for initial contribution to this study. We are grateful to Drs Trevor Bretag, Garry Rosewarne and Tony Slater for careful review and kind comments. Technical assistance by Mr Alistair Smith is also acknowledged.

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Correspondence to P. Kant.

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M. S. Rodda and P. Kant contributed equally to this work.

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Rodda, M.S., Kant, P., Lindbeck, K.D. et al. A high-throughput glasshouse based screening method to evaluate bacterial blight resistance in field pea (Pisum sativum). Australasian Plant Pathol. 44, 515–526 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13313-015-0374-3

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  • Disease screening
  • Pathovars
  • Inoculation method
  • Pulse® penetrant
  • Resistance
  • Pseudomonas syringae