The resistance of 267 Medicago truncatula accessions was determined against the soilborne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum, one of the major constraints of forage and grain legumes worldwide. The initial screening of the collection revealed a wide range of disease response from completely resistant to highly susceptible to one strain of F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis. As a result, 26 accessions were identified as resistant, 9 as susceptible, and all other accessions as partially resistant. The phenotype of 12 resistant accessions was confirmed in two independent experiments on a subset of 23 accessions. Quantification of F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis within plant tissue indicated that the resistance level of the accessions is correlated with the amount of F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis within its shoot. Inoculation with a different F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis isolate indicated that the resistance phenotype was stable because accession response to both F. oxysporum f. sp. medicaginis strains followed similar trends. However, grouping accessions according to their geographic origin did not reveal foci of resistance, which supports the idea that resistance arose from independent events. The identification of 12 resistant accessions will be useful for further cellular and molecular studies to unravel the basis of resistance to F. oxysporum in this model species and to transfer resistance to legume crop.
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