Effectiveness of Rlm7 resistance against Leptosphaeria maculans (phoma stem canker) in UK winter oilseed rape cultivars
Mohamed Sidique, Siti
The Rlm7 gene in Brassica napus is an important source of resistance for control of phoma stem canker on oilseed rape caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans. This study shows the first report of L. maculans isolates virulent against Rlm7 in the UK. Leptosphaeria maculans isolates virulent against Rlm7 represented 3% of the pathogen population when cultivars with the Rlm7 gene represented 5% of the UK oilseed rape area in 2012/13. However, the Rlm7 gene has been widely used since then, representing >15% of the UK oilseed rape area in 2015/16. Winter oilseed rape field experiments included cultivars with the Rlm7 gene, with the Rlm4 gene or without Rlm genes and took place at five sites in the UK over four cropping seasons. An increase in phoma leaf spotting severity on Rlm7 cultivars in successive seasons was observed. Major resistance genes played a role in preventing severe phoma leaf spotting at the beginning of the cropping season and, in addition, quantitative resistance (QR) in the cultivars examined made an important contribution to control of phoma stem canker development at the end of the cropping season. Deployment of the Rlm7 resistance gene against L. maculans in cultivars with QR in combination with sustainable disease management practices will prolong the use of this gene for effective control of phoma stem canker epidemics.