Temperature adaptation in isolates of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum affects their ability to infect Brassica carinata

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© 2015 British Society for Plant Pathology. Sclerotinia stem rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) is a serious disease in oilseed Brassica crops worldwide. In this study, temperature adaptation in isolates of S.sclerotiorum collected from differing climatic zones is reported for the first time on any crop. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolates from oilseed rape (Brassica napus) crops in warmer northern agricultural regions of Western Australia (WW3, UWA 7S3) differed in their reaction to temperature from those from cooler southern regions (MBRS-1, UWA 10S2) in virulence on Brassica carinata, growth on agar, and oxalic acid production. Increasing temperature from 22/18°C (day/night) to 28/24°C increased lesion diameter on cotyledons of B.carinataBC054113 more than tenfold for warmer region isolates, but did not affect lesion size for cooler region isolates. Mean lesion length averaged across two B.carinata genotypes (resistant and susceptible) fell from 4·6 to 2·4 mm for MBRS-1 when temperature increased from 25/21°C to 28/24°C but rose for WW3 (2·35 and 3·21 mm, respectively). WW3, usually designated as low in virulence, caused as much disease on stems at 28/24°C as MBRS-1, historically designated as highly virulent. Isolates collected from cooler areas grew better at low temperatures on agar. While all grew on potato dextrose agar between 5 and 30°C, with maximum growth at 20-25°C, growth was severely restricted above 32°C, and only UWA 7S3 grew at 35°C. Oxalate production increased as temperature increased from 10 to 25°C for isolates MBRS-1, WW3 and UWA 7S3, but declined from a maximum level of 101 mg g-1 mycelium at 20°C to 24 mg g-1 mycelium at 25°C for UWA 10S2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1148
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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