Effect of Inoculation with Selected Isolates of Stagonospora nodorum on Field Evaluations of Host Resistance in Winter Wheat

D. E. Fraser, J. P. Murphy, S. Leath, D. A. Van Sanford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although Stagonospora nodorum blotch occurs annually in North Carolina, selection for resistance in wheat (Triticum aestivum) breeding nurseries is hampered by the infrequent occurrence of heavy and timely disease pressure. The objective of this study was to compare estimates of host resistance in a population of 147 random winter wheat lines evaluated in epidemics produced by natural infection versus epidemics supplemented by inoculation with selected isolates. Two isolates were chosen from a set of 43 collected in North Carolina based on their aggressiveness on four wheat cultivars in a controlled environment test. Field experiments utilized a split-plot design with three replications. The main plots were inoculation treatments and the subplots were the 147 wheat genotypes. The inoculation treatments were (i) selected isolate A (more aggressive) alone, (ii) selected isolate B (less aggressive) alone, (iii) a combination of isolates A plus B, and (iv) natural infection. Selected isolate treatments were applied at Feekes growth stage 9 to 10.1, and disease intensity was measured two or three times at 14-day intervals postinoculation. The study was conducted at one location in the 1996-97 season and two locations in the 1997-98 season. High levels of natural infection occurred, and no differences were observed among the four inoculation treatments for mean disease intensity in any of the three environments. Within environments, genotype-by-inoculation treatment variance was significant in the two environments inoculated with selected isolates at growth stage 9 but not in the environment inoculated at growth stage 10.1. Magnitudes of genetic variation and heritability for Stagonospora nodorum blotch resistance were not consistently associated with main plot treatments, and inoculation with selected isolates masked genetic variation for resistance in two treatments in one environment. Genotype rank correlations for Stagonospora nodorum blotch resistance between inoculation treatments varied from zero to 0.69 within environments, but only a single correlation between inoculation treatments in different environments was observed. Estimates of host resistance in epidemics supplemented with selected isolates did not consistently agree with estimates in epidemics produced by natural infection. Our results did not support the routine use of supplemental inoculation of wheat breeding nurseries with selected isolates of S. nodorum as a means of increasing genetic gain for host resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1220
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Septoria nodorum blotch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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