Comparative virulence of Pyrenophora teres f. teres from Syria and Tunisia and screening for resistance sources in barley: implications for breeding
Aims: The aim of this study is to investigate the pathogenic diversity and virulence groups among Pyrenophora teres f. teres isolates, sampled from Syria and Tunisia, and to identify the most effective source of resistance in barley that could be used in breeding programmes to control net blotch in both countries. Methods and Results: One hundred and four isolates of P. teres f. teres were collected from barley in different agroecological zones of Tunisia and Syria. Their virulence was evaluated using 14 barley genotypes as differential hosts. The UPGMA clustering identified high pathogenic variability; the isolates were clustered onto 20 pathotypes that were sheltered under three virulence groups, with high, intermediate and low disease scores. According to susceptibility/resistance frequencies and mean disease ratings, CI05401 cultivar ranked as the best differential when inoculated with the Syrian isolates. However, CI09214 cultivar was classified as the best effective source of resistance in Tunisia. Conclusions: All P. teres f. teres isolates were differentially pathogenic. CI09214 and CI05401 cultivars were released as the most effective sources of resistance in Syria and Tunisia. Significance and Impact of the Study: National and international barley breeding programmes that seek to develop resistance against P. teres f. teres in barley should strongly benefit from this study. This resistance cannot be achieved without the proper knowledge of the pathogen virulence spectrum and the sources of host resistance.