Distribution and characterization of podosphaera macularis virulent on hop cultivars possessing R6-based resistance to powdery mildew

Sierra N. Wolfenbarger, Stephen T. Massie, Cynthia Ocamb, Emily B. Eck, Gary G. Grove, Mark E. Nelson, Claudia Probst, Megan C. Twomey, David H. Gent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Host resistance, both quantitative and qualitative, is the preferred long-term approach for disease management in many pathosystems, including powdery mildew of hop (Podosphaera macularis). In 2012, an epidemic of powdery mildew occurred in Washington and Idaho on previously resistant cultivars whose resistance was putatively based on the gene designated R6. In 2013, isolates capable of causing severe disease on cultivars with R6-based resistance were confirmed in Oregon and became widespread during 2014. Surveys of commercial hop yards during 2012 to 2014 documented that powdery mildew is now widespread on cultivars possessing R6 resistance in Washington and Oregon, and the incidence of disease is progressively increasing. Pathogenic fitness, race, and mating type of R6-virulent isolates were compared with isolates of P. macularis lacking R6 virulence. All isolates were positive for the mating type idiomorph MAT1-1 and were able to overcome resistance genes Rb, R3, and R5 but not R1 or R2. In addition, R6-virulent isolates were shown to infect differential cultivars reported to possess the R6 gene and also the R4 gene, although R4 has not yet been broadly deployed in the United States. R6-virulent isolates were not detected from the eastern United States during 2012 to 2015. In growth chamber studies, R6-virulent isolates of P. macularis had a significantly longer latent period and produced fewer lesions on plants with R6 as compared with plants lacking R6, indicating a fitness cost to the fungus. R6-virulent isolates also produced fewer conidia when compared with isolates lacking R6 virulence, independent of whether the isolates were grown on a plant with or without R6. Thus, it is possible that the fitness cost of R6 virulence occurs regardless of host genotype. In field studies, powdery mildew was suppressed by at least 50% on plants possessing R6 as compared with those without R6 when coinoculated with R6-virulent and avirulent isolates. R6 virulence in P. macularis appears to be race specific and, at this time, imposes ameasurable fitness penalty on the fungus. Resistance genes R1 and R2 appear to remain effective against R6-virulent isolates of P. macularis in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1221
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

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