Plant Breeder, INRA Settat, Morocco
Plant Breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota
Cereal Rust Laboratory, USDA-ARS and the Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108
Net blotch, caused by Pyrenophora teres, is among the most damaging foliar diseases of barley worldwide. A knowledge of the reaction of local cultivars, putative resistant lines, and variability in the net blotch pathogen is necessary to develop a successful resistance breeding program. Disease responses of 38 barley lines to 15 P. teres isolates were studied at the seedling and adult plant stages in the glasshouse, and field responses to net blotch were evaluated at three Moroccan locations. No tested barley was resistant to all isolates, and resistance was apparently of the specific type. Pathogenic variability was great, as none of the 15 isolates were identical. For each isolate tested, a specific high level of resistance was found in one or more host lines. Seedling and adults plants often differed in response to the same isolate. Adult plant resistance was commonly observed in response to isolate I-1, and seedling resistance was more common to isolate I-14. Adult plant resistance of nine lines was undetected in seedling evaluations using isolate I-1. The seedling glasshouse and field responses of the barley lines varied considerably, limiting the value of seedling testing for resistance. Field reactions of resistant and moderately resistant were consistent across the three locations for the lines Heartland, Minn 7, CI 2333, and CI 2549. The variability observed in P. teres and failure to find lines with resistance to all isolates suggests that breeding for resistance should emphasize pyramiding of resistance genes.