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New oilseed rape resistance to diseases through inter-specific crosses

Last updating 1999

Contract nr: FAIR-CT97-3509
Project nr: 3509
Project type: SC
Starting date: 01/01/1998
Duration: 42 months
Total cost: 1,724,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,399,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Richard HARDWICK
Research topic: Plant health
Acronym: NORDIC

This proposed programme has its origin in a collaboration between partners in the concerted action EC programme with entitled 'Applications of biotechnology for reduced inputs in disease protection and nitrogen fertilization of rapeseed cultivation'; a programme which started in 1994. Work will now be comprised of research into two fungal diseases that cause devastating yield losses in oilseed cultivation. The general objective of this collaborative research is to increase the ecological compatibility and reduce the cultivation costs of rapeseed by improving the genetic mechanisms of disease-resistance to the black leg (Phoma lingam) and the Verticillium-wilt (Verticillium dahliae) diseases. To fulfill this aim the work is devided into three areas: (1) investigation of new sources of resistance genes, (2) utilization of fungal isolate characterization and comparisons of screening methods, (3) development and evaluation of molecular marker systems.

A number of hybrid material, addition and translocation lines between Brassica napus and the close relatives B. carinata, B. juncea, B. nigra and the more distantly related Arabidopsis thaliana with novel P. Iingam resistance have been produced by the partners. Progeny from this material and successive crossings will be utilized for introduction of new resistance genes in commercial rapeseed germplasm and for mapping studies. Some promising material has been developed where resistance to Verticillium-wilt has been transferred to B. napus from B. oleracea. However, to identify new sources of resistance, the germplasm of other related Brassica species will be investigated. The black leg resistance will be checked at various developmental stages under controlled conditions in culture chambers, greenhouses and under field conditions. The resistance to Verticillium-wilt will be evaluated both in greenhouse and in field tests but techniques to screen plant material in early stages are of importance and such procedures will be developed in the programme. To eliminate the risk of working with strikingly different isolates with various degrees of virulence, the characterization of the isolates used for the screenings in the different countries will take place. After selecting representative isolates these will be distributed and used by all partners to enable comparisons of the different controlled screening tests that will be performed.

Today, molecular markers have the theoretical capacity to facilitate and make conventional screening work more rapid and efficient, if markers can be found that co-segregate with a trait of interest. Thus, identification and utilization of DNA-markers will be one important part in this programme. Initially, DNA-markers will be used to monitor the resistance genes against black leg and later markers co-segregating with resistance to Verticillium-wilt will be developed. Subsequently, the usefulness of such marker systems in practical breeding programmes will be evaluated. In conclusion, by a careful selection of fungal isolates and a thorough screening of inter-specific plant material, new resistance genes against P. Iingam and V. dahliae will be studied and introduced into commercial rapeseed cultivars. By applying DNA-marker techniques on mapping populations derived from the resistant lines, co-segregating markers will be identified and marker assisted breeding systems evaluated.

Christina DIXELIUS
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
S-750 07 Uppsala
Tel.: +46 18 673 243
Fax: +46 18 673 279


  • Eric MARGALE
    GIE Serasem
    Rue Léon Beauchamp 60
    F-59933 La Chapelle d'Armentieres
    Tel.: +33 3 20 48 41 00
    Fax: +33 3 20 48 41 10

  • Michel RENARD
    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
    F-35653 Le Rheu
    Tel.: +33 2 99 28 51 26
    Fax: +33 2 99 28 51 20

  • Daruch STRUSS
    Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research
    Corrensstrasse 3
    D-06466 Gatersleben
    Tel.: +49 39 48 25 236
    Fax: +49 39 48 25 137

  • Jan MEYER
    Svalöf Weibull Ab
    S-268 81 Svalöv
    Tel.: +46 41 86 71 79
    Fax: +46 41 86 71 04
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