Resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in wild Brassica species and the importance of Sclerotinia subarctica as a Brassica pathogen

Brassica crops are of global importance with oilseed rape (Brassica napus) accounting for 13% of edible oil production. All Brassica are susceptible to Sclerotinia stem rot, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, a generalist fungal pathogen causing disease in over 400 plant species. Generally, sources of plant resistance result in partial control of the pathogen although some studies have identified wild Brassica species that are highly resistant. The related pathogen S. subarctica has also been reported on Brassica but its aggressiveness in relation to S. sclerotiorum is unknown. In this study, detached leaf and petiole assays were used to identify new sources of resistance to S. sclerotiorum within a wild Brassica C genome diversity set. High level resistance was observed in B. incana and B. cretica in petiole assays, while wild B. oleracea and B. incana lines were the most resistant in leaf assays. A B. bourgeai line showed both partial petiole and leaf resistance. Although there was no correlation between the two assays, resistance in the detached petiole assay was correlated with stem resistance in mature plants. When tested on commercial cultivars of B. napus, B. oleracea and B. rapa, selected isolates of S. subarctica exhibited comparable aggressiveness to S. sclerotiorum indicating it can be a significant pathogen of Brassica. This is the first study to identify B. cretica as a source of resistance to S. sclerotiorum and to report resistance in other wild Brassica species to a UK isolate, hence providing resources for breeding of resistant cultivars suitable for Europe.
Category: Breeding
Authors: Taylor, A., et al.
Journal/Series: Plant Pathology
Publication Year: 2017

Related links