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Phytopathology. 2003 Apr;93(4):421-7. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2003.93.4.421.

Partial Resistance to Melampsora larici-populina Leaf Rust in Hybrid Poplars: Genetic Variability in Inoculated Excised Leaf Disk Bioassay and Relationship with Complete Resistance.


ABSTRACT Inoculated excised leaf disk technique allows decomposition of poplar partial resistance to Melampsora larici-populina leaf rust into key epidemiological components such as latent period (LP), uredinia number (UN), uredinia size (US), and spore production (SP) for a given M. larici-populina strain under controlled environmental conditions. Three hundred thirty-six genotypes from an interspecific Populus deltoides x P. trichocarpa F(1) progeny segregating for complete resistance to M. larici-populina strain 93ID6 were inoculated with M. larici-populina strain 93CV1. This strain was able to infect the whole family, except few probable recombinants. LP, final UN, and final US after one infectious cycle proved to be relevant complementary descriptors of partial resistance. Area under the disease progress curve and other parameters of uredinia appearance dynamics did not yield additional information. Indirect assessment of SP by US scoring was reliable and easy to access compared with direct spore counting. UN was the only trait for which a doubling of the inoculum pressure level had a significant effect, leading to greater differentiation between genotypes. Consistent with previous studies is the clear relationship between presence of complete resistance against M. larici-populina strain 93ID6 and higher partial resistance to M. larici-populina strain 93CV1 (32% longer LP, 76% smaller UN, and 34% smaller US). In the subpopulation compatible with 93ID6, bimodal distribution of genotypic means for US suggested implication of a major gene inherited from the P. trichocarpa parent. Residual variation was noted for the three epidemiological components, suggesting that additional genes might condition these quantitative traits.

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