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Patterns of Virulence in Natural Populations of Puccinia coronata on Wild Oat in Israel and in Agricultural Populations on Cultivated Oat in the United States.


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      ABSTRACT Crown rust (Puccinia coronata) in indigenous populations of Avena sterilis has been cited as an example of stability of wild pathosystems that consist of natural mixtures of resistance and virulence. This study confirmed that virulence/avirulence polymorphisms in P. coronata on A. sterilis in Israel are highly diverse and that super races do not dominate. Isolates of P. coronata from Israel in 1991 to 1996 were polymorphic for virulence to 35 of 36 differential oat lines with resistance genes from A. sterilis. On average, isolates of P. coronata were more highly virulent to differentials with Pc genes from A. sterilis accessions from Israel than to differentials with Pc genes from other countries. Isolates from Israel also were more virulent on average to 10 additional differentials with Pc genes derived from A. sativa than to differentials with Pc genes from A. sterilis. Frequencies of virulence were usually higher in collections of P. coronata from Israel than in collections from cultivated oat in the United States, even though several of the Pc genes in the differentials have been used extensively in American oat cultivars. Mean virulence complexity of P. coronata from eight regions of Israel was not correlated with the distribution of resistance among collections of A. sterilis from previous surveys in the same areas, probably because pathogen migration between regions within Israel is sufficient to obscure effects of selection locally.

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