Resistance to pea bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv. pisi) in different plant parts was assessed in 19 Pisum sativum cultivars and landraces, carrying race-specific resistance genes (R-genes) and two Pisum abyssinicum accessions carrying race-nonspecific resistance. Stems, leaves and pods were inoculated with seven races of P. s. pv. pisi under glasshouse conditions. For both race-specific and nonspecific resistance, a resistant response in the stem was not always associated with resistance in leaf and pod. Race-specific genes conferred stem resistance consistently, however, there was variability in the responses of leaves and pods which depended on the matching R-gene and A-gene (avirulence gene in the pathogen) combination. R2 generally conferred resistance in all plant parts. R3 or R4 singly did not confer complete resistance in leaf and pod, however, R3 in combination with R2 or R4 enhanced leaf and pod resistance. Race-nonspecific resistance conferred stem resistance to all races, leaf and pod resistance to races 2, 5 and 7 and variable reactions in leaves and pods to races 1, 3, 4 and 6. Disease expression was also studied in the field under autumn/winter conditions. P. sativum cultivar, Kelvedon Wonder (with no R genes), and two P. abyssinicum accessions, were inoculated with the most frequent races in Europe under field conditions (2, 4 and 6). Kelvedon Wonder was very susceptible to all three races, whereas P. abyssinicum was much less affected. The combination of disease resistance with frost tolerance in P. abyssinicum enabled plants to survive through the winter. A breeding strategy combining race-nonspecific resistance derived from P. abyssinicum with race-specific R-genes should provide durable resistance under severe disease pressure.
- syringae pv pisi
- pathovar pisi