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Breeding for disease resistance in oats

Murphy, H.C., Stanton, T.R., Coffman, F.A.
Agronomy journal 1942 v.34 no.1 pp. 72-89
Avena sativa, plant breeding, disease resistance, varieties, crop yield, provenance, fungal diseases of plants, cultivars
The major diseases affecting oats in the United States are loose and covered smuts and crown and stem rusts. Among the minor oat diseases which occasionally cause considerable damage are blast (non-parasitic), Fusarium blight, halo blight, stripe blight, Helminthosporium leaf blotch, Pythium root necrosis, and others. Estimates reported in the Plant Disease Reporter of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry, for the period of 1919 to 1938 show an annual loss from smuts amounting to about 3.5%, or approximately 40 million bushels, of the oat crop of the United States. The estimated losses from rusts for this same period are 2% or nearly 23 million bushels for crown rust, and 1.2% or about 14 million bushels for stem rust. Recent statistical studies of the effects of crown and stem rust on oat production indicate that these estimates may be much too low. For the smuts, Victoria is highly resistant to all known races, Markton and Navarro are highly resistant to all but certain rare races, whereas Bond and Black Mesdag have adequate resistance under most field conditions. For crown rust, Bond and Victoria are highly resistant to all except certain rare and little known races. Rainbow, Alber, and Capa may be classed as only moderately resistant. This resistance, however, affords considerable protection to the crop in many sections. For stem rust, Richland, Iogold, and Rainbow are highly resistant to all races of apparent economic importance, showing susceptibility only to certain rare races. The old White Tartar oat has furnished adequate resistance under certain field conditions. Jostrain (Joanette strain) can be classed only as moderately resistant. By crossing within this group of varieties, many new strains have been developed with resistance to the smuts only; to stem rust only; to smuts and stem rust 1 to smuts and crown rust; and to the smuts, stem rust, and crown rust, in combination with high yield and quality. In winter oats, strains combining disease resistance and winter hardiness also have been evolved. Among the new, agronomic smut-resistant varieties are Carleton, Bannock, Marida, Huron, Uton, Fulgrain, and Fulton. Vanguard is the only comparatively new stem-rust-resistant variety that has been named. Certain selections from a cross of Hajira X Joanette are outstanding because of their apparent resistance to all races of stem rust. Among the recently developed smut- and stem-rust-resistant named varieties are Nakota (hull-less) and Hancock. The number, however, with resistance to smut and crown rust is much larger. A list of these follows: Fultex, Ranger, Rustler, Rangler, Letoria, Lelina, Lenoir, Levic, Lega, De Sota, Coker-Stanton, Victorgrain, and Fulgrain Strain 4. The newly developed and named varieties with resistance to the smuts, crown rust, and stem rust include Marion, Boone, Tama, and Vicland. Combining resistance to the more important minor diseases with that already available to the smuts and rusts does not seem impossible. Definite varietal resistance has been reported for oat blast, halo blight, bacterial stripe blight, Pythium necrosis, etc.