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A Field Method for Evaluating the Potential Durability of New Resistance Sources: Application to the Leptosphaeria maculans-Brassica napus Pathosystem

September 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  9
Pages  961 - 966

H. Brun , S. Levivier , I. Somda , D. Ruer , M. Renard , and A. M. Chèvre

First, second, third, and fourth authors: Unité Mixte de Recherche INRA/ENSAR Biologie des Organismes et des Populations appliquée à la Protection des Plantes [BiO3P], INRA, Domaine de la Motte, BP 35327, F-35653 Le Rheu Cedex, France; and fifth and sixth authors: Unité Mixte de Recherches INRA/ENSAR, Amélioration des plantes et biotechnologies végétales, INRA, Domaine de la Motte, BP 35327, F-35653 Le Rheu Cedex, France

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Accepted for publication 11 May 2000.

To increase the longevity of new resistance genes by avoiding a rapid change in pathogen populations, we established a new field method to determine, before the release of a resistant cultivar, whether and how rapidly the pathogen population is capable of responding to the selective pressure we impose. This method was applied to the Leptosphaeria maculans-Brassica napus pathosystem. The potential durability of two new major resistance genes introgressed into B. napus from the Brassica B genome was tested separately for each gene under field conditions for 4 years. Successive inoculations with residues of the resistant lines mixed with susceptible contaminated plant material recovered at harvest the previous year were performed in autumn. The Jlm1 resistance gene originating from B. juncea conferred complete resistance on the B. napus-B. juncea recombinant lines MX and MXS to inoculation of the cotyledons with a large diversity of L. maculans isolates. It also gave a high level of stem canker resistance in the field against natural populations of the pathogen. A similar level of resistance was obtained in the B. napus-B. nigra addition line LA4+, containing B. nigra chromosome 4 in a B. napus background. In the second year of the field experiment (i.e., the first in which residues from the resistant lines were included in the inoculation material), both MX and LA4+ maintained a high level of resistance. In the third and fourth years of the field experiment, the resistance of MX and MXS exposed to inoculum produced from their own residues broke down, but against fungal populations from susceptible B. napus or resistant B. nigra material remained effective. In contrast, LA4+ remained highly resistant to all sources of inoculum for the 4-year experiment.

Additional keywords: blackleg, Phoma lingam, population shift, resistance breakdown.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society