Faculty of Applied Bioscience Engineering, University College Ghent (Ghent University Association), and Department of Crop Protection, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Ghent University
Faculty of Applied Bioscience Engineering, University College Ghent (Ghent University Association)
Department of Crop Protection, Laboratory of Phytopathology
Faculty of Applied Bioscience Engineering, University College Ghent (Ghent University Association), and Department of Crop Protection, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Ghent University, BE-9000 Ghent, Belgium
Triticale (×Triticosecale) is the intergeneric hybrid between the female parent wheat and the male parent rye. With the expansion of the triticale growing area, powdery mildew emerged on this new host and has become a significant disease on triticale. Recent research demonstrated that this “new” powdery mildew on triticale has emerged through a host range expansion of powdery mildew of wheat. Moreover, this expansion occurred recently and multiple times at different locations in Europe. An effective and environmentally sensitive approach to controlling powdery mildew involves breeding crop plants for resistance. The main goal of this study was to identify the presence of powdery mildew resistance in commercial triticale cultivars. First, the avirulence (AVR) genes and gene complexity carried by this new powdery mildew population on triticale were characterized. Virulence was identified for all the resistance genes evaluated in the present study, and virulence frequencies higher than 50% were recorded on the genes Pm3f, Pm5b, Pm6, Pm7, Pm8, and Pm17. Using molecular markers, the presence of resistance genes Pm3f and Pm17 was identified in certain triticale cultivars. The triticale cultivars were also evaluated for the presence of quantitative resistance at adult plant growth stages in a 2-year field experiment. Despite the high disease pressure, cultivars highly resistant at the adult-plant growth stages were identified. Because ‘Grenado’ also showed effective race-specific resistance, this cultivar could be of high value for breeding for durable resistance to powdery mildew. Altogether, this study reveals valuable information on the presence of powdery mildew resistance in commercial triticale cultivars, which can be used in breeding programs in triticale. Additionally, this study underscores the need to broaden the base of powdery mildew resistance in triticale through introgression and deployment of new sources of mildew resistance, including quantitative resistance.