Pathotype variation of barley powdery mildew in Western Australia
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Barley powdery mildew caused by the fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh) has emerged as the most damaging disease of barley in Western Australia (WA). Many of the available cultivars display high levels of disease in the field when climatic conditions are conducive. As a result, fungicides have become the main method of disease control in the last 10 years. Different types and sources of genetic disease resistance are available but to optimise their deployment it is necessary to evaluate the spectrum of pathotypes present in the pathogen population. Sixty isolates of Bgh were collected in the 2009 season from 9 locations, single spored and characterised by infection on reference barley lines and cultivars. Eighteen unique pathotypes were resolved. Virulence against many of the R-genes in the reference lines was present in at least one pathotype. Isolates were virulent against 16 out of a total of 23 resistance gene combinations. Undefeated resistance genes included the major R-genes Mla-6, Mla-9, Ml-ra and the combinations of Mla-1 plus Mla-A12 and Mla-6 plus Mla-14 and Mla-13 plus Ml-Ru3 together with the recessive resistance gene mlo-5. There was significant pathotype spatial differentiation suggesting limited gene flow between different regions with WA or localised selection pressures and proliferation. On the basis of the results we recommend a number of strategies to manage powdery mildew disease levels within WA.
The final publication is available at http://doi.org/10.1007/s13313-013-0226-y
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