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Identification of Novel Sources of Resistance to Sclerotinia Basal Stalk Rot in South African Sunflower Germplasm

G. J. Seiler, C. G. Misar, T. J. Gulya, W. R. Underwood, B. C. Flett, M. A. Gilley, and S. G. Markell

May 2017


Sclerotinia basal stalk rot (BSR) is a serious fungal disease that reduces yield of global sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) production. Because limited chemical and biological controls of BSR are available and the present-day hybrids lack sufficient resistance, identification of new sources of resistance is needed to manage the disease in the future. A total of 59 cultivated oilseed sunflower accessions from the Agricultural Research Council, Grain Crops Institute, Potchefstroom, South Africa sunflower collection were evaluated for resistance to BSR in artificially inoculated field trials. Nine accessions from the South African sunflower collection were identified with a disease incidence less than or equal to the moderately resistant sunflower oilseed hybrid. These lines can be used in breeding programs to introgress the genes for resistance to Sclerotinia BSR into other adapted lines, providing a more efficient, durable, and environmentally friendly host plant resistance.


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