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Adaptation of Phytophthora infestans to Partial Resistance in Potato: Evidence from French and Moroccan Populations

March 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  3
Pages  338 - 343

Didier Andrivon , Fabian Pilet , Josselin Montarry , Majida Hafidi , Roselyne Corbière , El Hassan Achbani , Roland Pellé , and Daniel Ellissèche

First, second, third, and fifth authors: INRA, Agrocampus Rennes, UMR1099 BiO3P, F-35653 Le Rheu, France; fourth author: Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Fès-Saïs, Route d'Immouzer, Fès, Morocco; fourth and sixth author: Laboratoire de Phytobactériologie, INRA Centre Régional Saïs-Moyen Atlas, BP 578, 50000 Meknès, Morocco; and seventh and eighth authors: INRA, Agrocampus Rennes, UMR118 APBV, F-35000 France

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Accepted for publication 30 August 2006.

The use of partially resistant cultivars should become an essential component of a sustainable management strategy of potato late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans. It is therefore important to determine to what extent P. infestans populations can be selected for increased aggressiveness by potato cultivars with different levels of partial resistance. To this end, we sampled P. infestans populations from France and Morocco, chosen as locations where late blight occurs regularly but which differ in the distribution of potato cultivars. Cross-inoculation experiments were used to determine the aggressiveness of all populations to potato cvs. Bintje (prevalent in France but not grown in Morocco) and Désirée (popular in Morocco but cultivated to a very small extent in France). French populations were more aggressive on cv. Bintje than on cv. Désirée, irrespective of the site they were sampled from. Their aggressiveness increased between early and late samplings, suggesting that both cultivars selected for increased aggressiveness during epidemics. By contrast, Moroccan populations were more aggressive on Désirée, regarded as partially resistant in Europe, than on Bintje, highly susceptible under European conditions. These data indicate that P. infestans populations adapt to locally dominant cultivars, irrespective of their resistance levels, and can therefore overcome polygenic, partial resistance. This adaptive pattern may render partial resistance nondurable if not properly managed.

Additional keywords: durability, pathogenicity, resistance erosion, Solanum tuberosum.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society