Evaluation of Claviceps purpurea isolates on wheat reveals complex virulence and host susceptibility relationships
Menzies, J.G., Klein-Gebbinck, H.W., Gordon, A., O’Sullivan, D.M. (2017). Evaluation of Claviceps purpurea isolates on wheat reveals complex virulence and host susceptibility relationships, 39(3), 307-317. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07060661.2017.1355334
© 2017 The Canadian Phytopathological Society. Ergot of cereals, caused by Claviceps purpurea, results in yield loss and downgrading of infested grain because of toxic alkaloids in the sclerotia. Resistant wheat genotypes are known, but their effectiveness against different C. purpurea isolates over geographic regions has not been studied. The objective of this study was to examine the pathogenic variability among isolates of C. purpurea on wheat lines differing in resistance. Under controlled environmental conditions, 41 single spore isolates of C. purpurea were obtained from Canadian and UK collections and inoculated onto a set of wheat genotypes composed of durum wheat lines ‘Melita’, ‘Kyle’ and 9260B-173A, and hexaploid spring wheat lines ‘Cadillac’, ‘Vista’, ‘Kenya Farmer’, ‘Lee’ and HY630. Honeydew production and weight of sclerotia produced per spike were assessed. There were significant differences among the wheat genotypes for overall reactions to the pathogen isolates, and among pathogen isolates for geographic origin and host origin. Twenty virulence phenotypes were identified using the honeydew production data, and 23 virulence phenotypes identified using the sclerotial weight data from the 41 isolates. The existence of different virulence phenotypes indicates that variability in virulence exists in populations of C. purpurea, and knowledge of virulence phenotypes is necessary to effectively breed for resistant commercial lines.
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