Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331.
Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, causal agent of tan spot of wheat, produces multiple host-selective toxins (HSTs), including Ptr ToxA, Ptr ToxB, and Ptr ToxC. The specific complement of HSTs produced by a particular isolate determines its host cultivar specificity. Each unique specificity profile, represented by the differential induction of necrosis or chlorosis on a standard set of wheat differentials, defines a unique race. Eight races of P. tritici-repentis have been formally published, although additional races are under investigation. Although visual assessment of disease phenotype is often used in race designation of P. tritici-repentis, our results suggest that it has the potential to be misleading. Inoculation of the P. tritici-repentis isolates SO3 and PT82 on the current wheat differential set indicated classification as race 2 and race 8, respectively; however, genetic characterization revealed that these isolates do not possess the associated HSTs expected for these race assignments. Despite sharing disease phenotypes similar to known races, SO3 and PT82 were genotypically distinct from these previously characterized races of P. tritici-repentis. To ensure detection of the breadth of physiological variation among the isolates of P. tritici-repentis, our results indicate that race classification, where possible, should include both phenotypic and genotypic analyses and eventual expansion of the differential set.