Evidence of host-range expansion from new powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) infections of triticale (×Triticosecale) in France


E-mail: walker@versailles.inra.fr


This study aimed to determine whether powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminis is an endemic pathogen of triticale (×Triticosecale: Triticum × Secale), emerging as a result of recent changes in its pathogenicity, or whether it is a new pathogen, possibly resulting from hybridization between ff. spp. tritici and secalis. A secondary aim was to consider breeding practices that may have favoured this emergence. Phylogenetic analyses based upon six genes revealed the close relatedness of the novel entity and the ff. spp. tritici and secalis, but the IGS marker finally grouped together the isolates collected on triticale and on wheat, supporting the scenario of a recent host-range expansion from wheat to triticale. Pathotype analyses concluded that virulence spectra of B. graminis infecting triticale were new in comparison to those observed for other reference formae speciales, and lack of fungicide resistance in triticale isolates strengthens the hypothesis of no or little genetic exchange between wheat and triticale populations of powdery mildew. This adaptation may follow the breakdown of plant resistance genes, which are probably not very diverse in current triticale cultivars since this criterion was not considered as a major one until recent years. Moreover, the complex selection and genetics of this hybrid cereal makes it difficult to predict the transmission of powdery mildew resistance genes.