Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) resistance to growth of Leptosphaeria maculans in leaves of young plants contributes to quantitative resistance in stems of adult plants : Resistance to growth of Leptosphaeria maculans in leaves of young plants
Key message: One QTL for resistance against Leptosphaeria maculans growth in leaves of young plants in controlled environments overlapped with one QTL detected in adult plants in field experiments The fungal pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans initially infects leaves of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in autumn in Europe and then grows systemically from leaf lesions along the leaf petiole to the stem, where it causes damaging phoma stem canker (blackleg) in summer before harvest. Due to the difficulties of investigating resistance to L. maculans growth in leaves and petioles under field conditions, identification of quantitative resistance typically relies on end of season stem canker assessment on adult plants. To investigate whether quantitative resistance can be detected in young plants, we first selected nine representative DH (doubled haploid) lines from an oilseed rape DY (‘Darmor-bzh’ × ‘Yudal’) mapping population segregating for quantitative resistance against L. maculans for controlled environment experiment (CE). We observed a significant correlation between distance grown by L. maculans along the leaf petiole towards the stem (r = 0.91) in CE experiments and the severity of phoma stem canker in field experiments. To further investigate quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to resistance against growth of L. maculans in leaves of young plants in CE experiments, we selected 190 DH lines and compared the QTL detected in CE experiments with QTL related to stem canker severity in stems of adult plants in field experiments. Five QTL for resistance to L. maculans growth along the leaf petiole were detected; collectively they explained 35% of the variance. Two of these were also detected in leaf lesion area assessments and each explained 10-12% of the variance. One QTL on A02 co-localized with a QTL detected in stems of adult plants in field experiments. This suggests that resistance to the growth of L. maculans from leaves along the petioles towards the stems contributes to the quantitative resistance assessed in stems of adult plants in field experiments at the end of the growing season.