Interspecies transfer of resistance to anthracnose in lentil (Lens culinaris Medic.)

Lentil, Lens culinaris subsp. culinaris Medic., is an important legume crop on the Canadian prairies. Anthracnose, a fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum truncatum (Schwein.) Andrus & W.D. Moore, is a major barrier to seed yield and quality in lentil. Pathogenicity testing has revealed two races, Ct1 and Ct0, of C. truncatum in western Canada. No cultivar or landrace of cultivated lentil has been reported with resistance to anthracnose race Ct0. A search for Ct0 resistance in the wild species identified a high frequency of resistant accessions in Lens ervoides (Brign.) Grande. To incorporate higher levels of resistance from L. ervoides to the two races of anthracnose, a cross was made between a susceptible L. culinaris cultivar, Eston, and a resistant accession of L. ervoides germplasm, L-01-827A, which has both Ct0 and Ct1 resistance. Embryo rescue technique was used to obtain an F1 hybrid. Single-seed descent was used to advance the individual F2 plants to F7:8 recombinant inbred lines. Evidence of transfer of resistance to both anthracnose races Ct1 and Ct0 from the wild species to cultivated lentil is presented. Chi-square tests of goodness of fit indicated that resistance to race Ct1 and race Ct0 may be conferred by two recessive genes. However, these results may be skewed due to variable fertility encountered in development of the population. Selection of resistant lines for use in pyramiding genes in breeding programs should result in a more durable level of resistance to anthracnose in lentil.

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