European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 143, Issue 3, pp 527–541 | Cite as

Virulence differences among Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolates determines host cotyledon resistance responses in Brassicaceae genotypes

  • Xin Tian Ge
  • Ming Pei You
  • Martin J. Barbetti


Differences in Sclerotinia rot (SR) disease severity, caused by two categorized pathotypes and one more recent isolate of S. sclerotiorum and measured in terms of cotyledon lesion diameter, were studied across diverse Brassicaceae hosts to characterize host response and pathogen virulence. There were significant differences (P ≤0.001) between genotypes, isolates and a significant genotype x isolate interaction. The mean diameter of cotyledon lesions ranged from 5 mm in the most resistant genotypes (e.g., Brassica juncea Ringot I and Seeta) to ≥ 13.6 mm in the most susceptible genotypes (e.g., B. tournefortii Wild turnip #1 and #2, Sisymbrium irio London rocket Wild #1 and #2, and B. nigra 4381). Responses, in at least one experiment for some B. juncea (e.g., Seeta, Ringot I) and Raphanus sativus (e.g., Colonel) genotypes, were generally highly resistant irrespective of the isolate used, making them ideal sources of resistance to exploit for developing new varieties with more effective resistance to SR across multiple pathotypes of this pathogen. In contrast, some other genotypes showed significant isolate dependency, with high levels of resistance against one isolate (e.g., B. napus Charlton against the WW4 isolate; B. napus Oscar against the ‘Cabbage’ isolate) but quite susceptible to other isolates (e.g., B. napus Charlton against the ‘Cabbage’ and MBRS1 isolates; B. napus Oscar against the WW4 isolate). These findings highlight the value from using pathotypes of different physiological specialization in screening programs to identify host resistance that is durable across multiple pathotypes. Distinct host resistance symptom types were reported for the first time on some genotypes against isolate WW4; including a distinct yellow halo observed around lesions on B. napus RQ001, indicative of leaf senescence involved in programmed cell death (PCD); a distinct dark brown margin observed around lesions on R. sativus, indicative of a hypersensitive response (HR); and the HR ‘flecking’ on Sinapis alba Concerta and B. juncea Seeta. That WW4 was the most pathogenic isolate for genotypes such as B. juncea Hetianyoucai and B. napus Oscar that showed high level resistance to the ‘Cabbage’ isolate and intermediate resistance to MBRS-1, dispels previously held views that WW4 was a largely avirulent pathotype of little consequence. Rather, isolate WW4 offers unique opportunities to investigate HR and PCD host resistance responses to S. sclerotiorum in Brassicaceae.


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Sclerotinia rot Brassicaceae Crucifer Raphanus Brassica Radish Oilseed rape Mustard Host resistance 



Xintian Ge is the recipient of an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, The University of Western Australia, a scholarship from Kunming Floral World Bio-Tech Co. Ltd., Kunming, Peoples Republic of China, and ‘top-up’ funding by the Institute of Agriculture at the University of Western Australia. We appreciate the operational funding support for this research provided by the Australia Research Council and the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (Project LP100200113, ‘Factors responsible for host resistance to the pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum for developing effective disease management in vegetable Brassicas’); and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Canberra, along with the School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, for additional operational funding this work. We gratefully acknowledge the provision of half the salary of Martin Barbetti during the early part of these studies by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia. Exceptional technical support is acknowledged from Mr Robert Creasy and Mr Bill Piasini in the UWA Plant Growth Facilities.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Tian Ge
    • 1
  • Ming Pei You
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin J. Barbetti
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Plant Biology, Faculty of ScienceThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.The UWA Institute of Agriculture, Faculty of ScienceThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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