Optimized High Throughput Ascochyta Blight Screening Protocols and Immunity to A. pisi in Pea

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Ascochyta blight (AB) is a destructive disease of the field pea (Pisum sativum L.) caused by necrotrophic fungal pathogens known as the AB-disease complex. To identify resistant individuals to assist AB resistance breeding, low-cost, high throughput, and reliable protocols for AB screening are needed. We tested and optimized three protocols to determine the optimum type of pathogen inoculum, the optimal development stage for host inoculation, and the timing of inoculation for detached-leaf assays. We found that different plant development stages do not affect AB infection type on peas, but the timing of inoculation affects the infection type of detached leaves due to wound-induced host defense response. After screening nine pea cultivars, we discovered that cultivar Fallon was immune to A. pisi but not to A. pinodes or the mixture of the two species. Our findings suggest that AB screening can be done with any of the three protocols. A whole-plant inoculation assay is necessary for identifying resistance to stem/node infection. Pathogen inoculation must be completed within 1.5 h post-detachment to avoid false positives of resistance for detach-leaf assays. It is essential to use a purified single-species inoculum for resistant resource screenings to identify the host resistance to each single species.



plant pathogens, fungi, pea, Pisum sativum, Ascochyta blight, high throughput screening protocols, immunity to Ascochyta blight


Annan EN, Nyamesorto B, Yan Q, McPhee K, Huang L. Optimized High Throughput Ascochyta Blight Screening Protocols and Immunity to A. pisi in Pea. Pathogens. 2023; 12(3):494. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12030494
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