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The tolerance of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to Septoria tritici blotch

Abstract : The Septoria tritici blotch disease (STB, pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici) is the most damaging foliar infection of wheat crops in Europe. Disease management strategies include cultivar resistance, disease escape strategy and fungicides. However, these strategies have failed to provide a complete protection of wheat crops. The STB tolerance is a complementary approach which aims to maintain yield in the presence of the symptoms. The tolerance of STB relies on plant physiology and source/sink balance: the sink demand (the grain growth) must be satisfied in spite of reduced source availability (photosynthetic capacity as affected by the STB symptoms on the leaves). The green canopy area, the senescence timing and the grain yield components are interesting potential sources of tolerance that were studied in this project. A data-mining study, one glasshouse experiment and two field experiments were carried out providing complementary insights on STB tolerance mechanisms. The genotype × environment interaction effects on tolerance traits were investigated for two seasons × five locations × nine cultivars datasets. The nitrogen nutrition and metabolism of four doubled-haploid (DH) lines contrasting for STB tolerance were examined in a controlled-glasshouse experiment at UMR ECOSYS (INRA,AgroParisTech) Grignon, France. The source/sink balance of six DH lines contrasting for STB tolerance was also examined according to their responses to a spikelet removal treatment, applied in a field experiment in Hereford, UK. Finally, a field experiment with two fungicide regimes (full disease control and non-target (STB) disease control) probed the STB tolerance of six modern UK winter wheat cultivars in Leicestershire, UK. The main objective was to verify identified potential STB tolerance traits in commercial cultivars. Putative STB tolerance traits have been identified such as the early heading date, the low degree of grain-source limitation of healthy crops during the grain filling phase, the vertical canopy distribution favouring a relatively larger flag-leaf. Results showed these traits might be selectable in wheat breeding without a trade-off with the potential yield. Finally, the project also discussed the need for alternative STB tolerance quantification methods, as well as the importance of environmental variations which have to be taken into account to study genetic variation in tolerance, but which could also be used to discriminate tolerant environment.
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François Collin. The tolerance of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to Septoria tritici blotch. Agronomy. Institut agronomique, vétérinaire et forestier de France; University of Nottingham, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017IAVF0028⟩. ⟨tel-02443529⟩

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