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Virulence and inoculum density-dependent interactions between clubroot resistant canola (Brassica napus) and Plasmodiophora brassicae


To mitigate the impact and dissemination of clubroot in western Canada, canola (Brassica napus) producers have relied on clubroot resistance traits. However, in 2013 and 2014, new strains of the clubroot pathogen, Plasmodiophora brassicae, emerged that are virulent on most clubroot-resistant (CR) canola genotypes. Novel strains of the pathogen were inoculated onto two susceptible canola cultivars, one resistant line and six CR cultivars. Although all cultivars/lines showed a susceptible response to inoculation with the new strains of P. brassicae, the severity of disease reaction, root hair infection rates and the amount of P. brassicae DNA present in each canola genotype varied depending on the strain. In addition, the effect of inoculum density on disease severity and gall formation was recorded for one of these new strains on a universally susceptible Chinese cabbage cultivar and one susceptible and 10 resistant canola genotypes. Although root galls were observed at an inoculum density of 103 spores per mL of soil, clear differentiation of susceptible and resistant reactions among canola cultivars/lines was not observed until the inoculum density reached 105 spores mL−1. At a spore density of 106 spores mL−1 and above, all cultivars/lines developed susceptible reactions, although there was some differentiation in the degree of reaction. This study shows the potential to develop a unique disease profile for emergent clubroot pathotypes and shows a useful range of spore densities at which to study new P. brassicae strains.