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Distribution of Pathotypes with Regard to Host Cultivars in French Wheat Leaf Rust Populations

March 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  3
Pages  264 - 273

Henriette Goyeau , Robert Park , Brigitte Schaeffer , and Christian Lannou

First and fourth authors: INRA, Laboratoire de Pathologie Végétale, BP 01, 78 850 Thiverval-Grignon, France; second author: University of Sydney, Plant Breeding Institute, Camden NSW, Australia; and third author: Unité de recherche Mathématiques et Informatique Appliquées INRA Domaine de Vilvert 78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France

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Accepted for publication 15 October 2005.

Isolates of wheat leaf rust collected from durum and bread wheat cultivars in France during 1999-2002 were analyzed for virulence on 18 Thatcher lines with single genes for leaf rust resistance (Lr genes). Sampling focused on the five most widely grown bread wheat cultivars (two susceptible and three resistant) to allow statistical comparison of diversity indexes between the cultivars. Leaf rust populations from durum and bread wheats were different. The diversity of the bread wheat leaf rust pathotypes, as measured by the Shannon index, ranged from 2.43 to 2.76 over the 4 years. Diversity for wheat leaf rust resistance was limited in the host since we postulated only seven seedling resistance genes in the 35 cultivars most widely grown during 1999-2002. Leaf rust populations were strongly differentiated for virulence within bread wheat cultivars, and diversity was higher on those that were resistant, mainly due to a more even distribution of virulence phenotypes than on susceptible cultivars. The pathogen population on the susceptible cv. Soissons was largely dominated by a single pathotype (073100), whereas all other pathotypes virulent on cv. Soissons either decreased in frequency or remained at a low frequency during the period studied. Several pathotypes including the most complex one were found only on resistant cultivars, even though most of them were virulent on the susceptible cv. Soissons. Specific interactions were necessary, but not always sufficient, to account for pathotype distribution and frequencies on the cultivars, suggesting that selection for virulence to host resistance genes is balanced by other selective forces including selection for aggressiveness.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2006