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Screening of wild and cultivated lentil germplasm for resistance to stemphylium blight

  • Rajib Podder (a1), Sabine Banniza (a1) and Albert Vandenberg (a1)


Lens culinaris Medik. ssp. culinaris is the only cultivated species in the genus Lens. Intensive selection pressure to develop new cultivars, a narrow genetic base, co-evolution of pathogens to partially resistant cultivars and other factors have accelerated susceptibility to different fungal diseases in this species. Few sources for resistance to stemphylium blight (SB) caused by Stemphylium botryosum Wallr. exist among commercial lentil cultivars. A total of 70 accessions were selected from seven species of the genus Lens to screen for SB resistance. The L. culinaris accessions were screened in four different environments, and the accessions of Lens ervoides, L. culinaris ssp. orientalis, Lens tomentosus,Lens nigricans, Lens odemensis and Lens lamottei in growth chamber or greenhouse experiments to identify resistance sources for potential use in lentil breeding. A highly aggressive isolate of SB was used as an inoculum to screen them under controlled conditions. Lentil cultivars ‘Eston’ (resistant) and ‘CDC Glamis’ (susceptible) were used as checks with consistent results in all experiments. Most of the L. culinaris accessions were susceptible to SB, whereas more than 70% of the wild lentil accessions had disease severity scores equal to or significantly lower than that of the SB-resistant check ‘Eston’. Some wild species accessions previously identified with resistance to anthracnose (Colletotrichum truncatum) and ascochyta blight (Ascochyta lentis) were also highly resistant to SB. The highest frequency of resistance to SB was found in L. lamottei followed by L. ervoides of the secondary gene pool. These sources can potentially be used to develop new commercial cultivars with multiple or single disease resistance.


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