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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Identifying potential novel resistance to the foliar disease 'Scald' (Rhynchosporium commune) in a population of Scottish Bere barley landrace (Hordeum vulgare L.)

Cope, Jonathan E.; Norton, Gareth J.; George, Timothy S.; Newton, Adrian C.


Barley 'Scald' is an economically damaging fungal disease that is a global problem, causing significant yield and economical losses in the UK barley feed and malting industries. Presently, a limited number of Rhynchosporium resistance genes exist, but selective pressures on the fungi cause the demand for new sources of resistance. Landraces, such as the Scottish Bere barley, hold potential sources of resistance that can be utilised, with farmers providing anecdotal evidence of resistance in field populations of Bere. This study analysed 131 heritage cultivars and landrace lines, including 37 Bere lines, to screen for resistance using both detached leaf assays (DLAs) and field experiments. Results showed that Bere lines produced smaller, but more necrotic, lesions for the majority of isolates in the DLAs, as well as smaller scores when visually assessed in field conditions. Whilst the infection patterns of the lines differed between isolates and experimental conditions, three Bere lines were identified as consistently showing reduced levels of infection (45 A 23, 58 A 36 Eday, and 8-125). Using genome-wide association analysis, we were able to identify a number of genomic regions associated with reduced infection symptoms, four in regions associated with known resistance genes, but another four associated with new regions that contain promising candidate genes. Further analysis of these new regions and candidate genes should be undertaken to identify targets for future disease-resistance breeding.


Barley landraces; Hordeum vulgare; Bere barley; Genetic diversity; Rhynchosporium commune; Barley leaf scald

Published in

Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection
2021, volume: 128, number: 4, pages: 999-1012

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Production Ecology
The James Hutton Institute
Norton, Gareth J.
University of Aberdeen
George, Timothy S.
James Hutton Institute
Newton, Adrian C.
James Hutton Institute

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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