A petiole inoculation technique was adapted for evaluating resistance of oilseed Brassica napus seedlings to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. In the first of four experiments, four isolates of S. sclerotiorum were tested, two originating from soybean and two from B. napus. In all, 10 to 47 B. napus accessions were inoculated in the seedling stage and responses to isolates were evaluated using days to wilt (DW) and a lesion phenotype index (LP). There were no significant differences in virulence among the four isolates for DW and only slight differences for LP. However, significant differences (P < 0.0001) were observed among the B. napus accessions for DW and LP in this experiment and in subsequent experiments using one isolate. The responses of accessions were consistent among experiments and among evaluation criteria. Higher levels of resistance were found among winter-type than spring-type accessions, and among rapeseed-quality compared with canola-quality accessions. The most resistant accessions identified also were the most resistant when inoculated at the flowering stage. Terminal stems were inoculated immediately below the lowest flower and stem lesion length (SLL) was used to characterize the interaction phenotype of each accession. The petiole inoculation technique can be used successfully to differentiate oilseed B. napus germ plasm for response to S. sclerotiorum. This inoculation technique and the sources of resistance identified in this study may be used to determine inheritance resistance to S. sclerotiorum and for improving oilseed B. napus cultivars for resistance to this important pathogen.
- White mold