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Identification of Resistance to Powdery Mildew in Publicly Available Male Hop Germplasm

D. H. Gent, B. J. Claassen, M. C. Twomey, and S. N. Wolfenbarger

September 2018


Powdery mildew (caused by Podosphaera macularis) is one of the most important diseases of hop in the western United States. Strains of the fungus virulent on cultivars possessing the resistance factor termed R6 and the cultivar Cascade have become widespread in the Pacific Northwestern United States, the primary hop producing region in the country, rendering most cultivars grown susceptible to the disease at some level. In an effort to identify potential sources of resistance in extant germplasm, 136 male accessions of hop contained in the U.S. Department of Agriculture collection were screened under controlled conditions. Iterative inoculations with three isolates of P. macularis with varying race identified 23 (16.9%) accessions with apparent resistance to all known races of the pathogen present in the Pacific Northwest. Of the 23 accessions, 12 were resistant when inoculated with three additional isolates obtained from Europe that possess novel virulences. The nature of resistance in these individuals is unclear but does not appear to be based on known R genes. Identification of possible novel sources of resistance to powdery mildew will be useful to hop breeding programs in the western United States and elsewhere.


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