• frost tolerance;
  • pea bacterial blight;
  • Pisum abyssinicum;
  • Pisum sativum;
  • race-non-specific resistance;
  • race-specific resistance

A total of 242 Pisum accessions were screened for resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. pisi under controlled conditions. Resistance was found to all races, including race 6 and the recently described race 8. Fifty-eight accessions were further tested for resistance to P. syringae pv. syringae under controlled conditions, with some highly resistant accessions identified. Finally, a set of 41 accessions were evaluated for resistance to P. syringae pv. pisi and pv. syringae under spring- and winter-sowing field conditions. R2, R3 and R4 race-specific resistance genes to P. syringae pv. pisi protected pea plants in the field. Resistance sources to race 6 identified under controlled conditions were ineffective in the field. Frost effects were also evaluated in relation to disease response. Results strongly suggest that frost tolerance is effective in lowering the disease effects caused by P. syringae pv. pisi and pv. syringae under frost-stress conditions, even in the absence of disease resistance genes, although the highest degree of this protection is reached when frost tolerance and disease-resistance genes are combined in the same genetic background.