• Downy mildew of lettuce;
  • Lactuca saligna;
  • durability of resistance;
  • race-specificity;
  • sources of resistance;
  • virulence phenotypes


Four German isolates (FS1, SR2, SAW1 and DEG2) of Bremia lactucae originating from lettuce cultivars with R-factors R18 and Dm6 + R36 were used for detailed characterization of virulence factors (v-factors) and for the study of the resistance efficiency in wild Lactuca spp. germplasm. The highest complexity of v-phenotype was recognized in isolate DEG2, which overcomes resistance in cv. Mariska (R18) and line CS-RL (L. serriola × L. sativa, R18 + ?), until now known as resistant to all known races of B. lactucae in Europe. However, some sparse sporulation also occurred on cv. Titan (Dm6 + R36). The isolates SR2 and SAW1 overcome the resistance based on the gene R36, but are avirulent to R18. The v-phenotype of SR2 is highly complex with the most important v-factors being present except for v14 and v18. The isolate FS1 is the first in Germany originating from a cultivar with R18 (cv. Samourai). The search for efficient sources of resistance in 64 accessions of 11 wild Lactuca spp. and primitive forms of L. sativa showed broad variation in accession–isolate interactions. Expression of race-specific resistance in wild Lactuca spp. (L. serriola, L. viminea, L. virosa) was recorded frequently. Lactuca indica and L. saligna could be considered as the most efficient sources of resistance against isolates FS1, SR2 and SAW1. The isolate DEG2 showed the highest level of virulence. On seedlings of L. saligna, which is considered as a most important source of resistance against B. lactucae, there was frequently recorded limited sporulation, however this response cannot be considered as a susceptible. Except for some L. saligna accessions (CGN 05310 and CGN 05315), the resistance to all studied isolates was only observed in one accession of L. serriola (PI 253467).