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Stable and Extreme Resistance to Common Scab of Potato Obtained Through Somatic Cell Selection

May 2010 , Volume 100 , Number  5
Pages  460 - 467

Calum R. Wilson, Robert S. Tegg, Annabel J. Wilson, Gregory A. Luckman, Alieta Eyles, Zi Qing Yuan, Leon H. Hingston, and Anthony J. Conner

First, second, third, fourth, sixth, and seventh authors: Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research (TIAR), University of Tasmania, New Town Research Laboratories, 13 St. Johns Ave., New Town, Tasmania, 7008, Australia; Fifth author: CRC for Forestry, University of Melbourne, Private Bag 12, Hobart 7001, Australia; and eighth author: New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, Private Bag 4704, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Accepted for publication 14 January 2010.

Somatic cell selection with thaxtomin A as a positive selection agent was used to isolate variants of potato cv. Russet Burbank with strong to extreme resistance to common scab. Glasshouse and field trials identified 51 variants with significantly reduced disease incidence (frequency of infected tubers) and severity (tuber lesion coverage) compared with the parent cultivar. The most promising variants exhibited extreme disease resistance, rarely showing lesions, which were invariably superficial and shallower than those on the parent. Resistance traits were consistently expressed both in 10 glasshouse and two field trials at different locations, with varied inoculum and disease pressure. Disease-resistant variants differed in their response to thaxtomin A in tuber slice bioassays. Of 23 variants tested, 10 showed reduced thaxtomin A susceptibility, with the remaining 13 responding similar to that of the parent. Thus, toxin tolerance was not the only factor responsible for observed disease resistance; however, four of the five most disease-resistant variants had enhanced thaxtomin A tolerance, suggesting that this factor is important in the expression of strong disease resistance. Pathogenicity and toxin tolerance remained stable over a 6-year period, demonstrating that selected phenotypes were robust and genetic changes stable. The majority of disease-resistant variants had tuber yields equivalent to the parent cultivar in glasshouse trials. This suggests that selection for disease resistance was not associated with negative tuber attributes and that certain variants may have commercial merit, worthy of further agronomic testing.

Additional keywords:host resistance, potato, Solanum tuberosum, Streptomyces scabiei.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society