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Virulence of Egyptian Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici Population and Response of Egyptian Wheat Cultivars

Abdelrhim, Abdelrazek, Abd-Alla, Harby M., Abdou, El-Sayed, Ismail, Mamdoh E., Cowger, Christina
Plant disease 2018 v.102 no.2 pp. 391-397
Blumeria graminis, ascospores, cultivars, durum wheat, genes, mildews, powdery mildew, virulence, Egypt
Powdery mildew, caused by Blumeria graminis (DC.) Speer f. sp. tritici (Em. Marchal), is a serious disease of wheat that can cause a large reduction in yield. In Egypt, high powdery mildew severity has been observed in the past few years on many commercial cultivars of both bread and durum wheat. Little information is available about virulence characteristics of the Egyptian B. graminis f. sp. tritici population in Egypt or the resistance of Egyptian wheat cultivars to powdery mildew. Virulence frequencies of a representative sample of the Egyptian B. graminis f. sp. tritici population were studied. Seven provinces were chosen to represent the country: two in Upper Egypt (Qena and Sohag), one in Middle Egypt (El Minia), and four in the north (Alexandria, Kafr Elsheikh, Dakahlia, and Sharqia). Ten isolates from each province (70 isolates total) were derived from single ascospores and used for this study. They were inoculated individually on 21 powdery mildew differential lines, each bearing a single resistance (Pm) gene. Also, the responses of 14 Egyptian bread wheat cultivars and 6 durum cultivars to each of the 70 isolates were evaluated individually. Among all tested Pm genes, only seven (Pm1b, Pm2, Pm21, Pm34, Pm36, Pm37, and Pm53) were effective against B. graminis f. sp. tritici isolates from all provinces. Several other genes were effective against most or all isolates from a majority of provinces. All tested bread wheat cultivars showed full susceptibility to all isolates, whereas two durum wheat cultivars, Beni-Suef-5 and Beni-Suef-6, had intermediate responses to a large percentage of the isolates, likely indicating partial resistance. To enhance mildew resistance in Egyptian wheat cultivars, it is recommended to use combinations of genes that are nationally effective or effective against multiple provincial B. graminis f. sp. tritici populations.