European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 53–65 | Cite as

A Large-Scale Survey of Races of Leptosphaeria  maculans Occurring on Oilseed Rape in France

  • Marie-Hélène Balesdent
  • Karine Louvard
  • Xavier Pinochet
  • Thierry Rouxel


Nine avirulence genes (AvrLm1–AvrLm9) were identified in Leptosphaeria  maculans, the causal agent of stem canker of oilseed rape (OSR), combinations of which could theoretically generate up to 512 different races of the fungus. L. maculans displays a high evolutionary potential to adapt to novel resistance genes as illustrated by the Rlm1 breakdown in France, where virulent populations became prevalent within three growing seasons. An improved knowledge of the race structure of the fungal population is therefore needed to ensure a better use of available major resistance genes. The objective of this study was to characterise the L. maculans population structure in France using a large-scale, rationalised sample of isolates. Experimental fields, planted with “trap plants” harbouring no major resistance gene, were sown at 20 locations. Single-pycnidium isolates were collected from leaf lesions that developed in early autumn and 1797 isolates were genotyped at Avr loci. The frequency of AvrLm6 and AvrLm7 was higher than 99%, whereas avrLm2 and avrLm9 alleles were fixed in the population. AvrLm1, AvrLm4, AvrLm5 and AvrLm8 were polymorphic. AvrLm3 isolates were detected at a very low frequency (less than 1%). Only 11 races were identified in France, with one race prevalent, namely Av5-6-7-(8) (i.e. virulent on Rlm1, Rlm2, Rlm3, Rlm4 and Rlm9), representing around 65% of the population. Disparities between the locations sampled were evident at all scales analysed. Some virulent races, such as those harbouring avrLm5, were present before the introduction of the corresponding resistance gene in the commercial OSR crop.

Key words

avirulence gene blackleg disease gene-for-gene relationship Phoma  lingam resistance 







oilseed rape




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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Hélène Balesdent
    • 1
  • Karine Louvard
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xavier Pinochet
    • 2
  • Thierry Rouxel
    • 1
  1. 1.INRAUnité PMDVVersailles CedexFrance
  2. 2.CETIOM (Centre Technique des Oléagineux Métropolitains)Thiverval-GrignonFrance

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