Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology Research
Project Number: 3060-21220-034-003-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jul 1, 2019
End Date: Jul 31, 2023
The objective of the proposed research is to identify new cultivated sunflower germplasm accessions exhibiting high levels of resistance to Sclerotinia basal stalk rot. Additional objectives are to determine the likelihood that these accessions possess novel resistance loci or alleles and to confirm that resistance observed in highly resistance accessions is broad spectrum in nature and effective against genetically and pathogenically diverse isolates of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.
A collection of 60 sunflower germplasm lines will be evaluated for resistance to Sclerotinia basal stalk rot using a newly-developed greenhouse-based disease assessment to identify highly resistant accessions. Highly and moderately resistant accessions will subsequently be evaluated using molecular markers previously determined to be associated with basal stalk rot resistance to determine the likelihood that these accessions possess novel resistance loci or alleles. Additionally, highly resistant accessions will be challenged with a set of genetically and pathogenically diverse Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolates to ensure that the observed resistance is effective against a range of pathogen diversity.