iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Variation in resistance to the rust fungus Melampsora larici-populina Kleb. in Populus nigra L. in the Czech Republic

Petra Štochlová, Katerina Novotná   , Vojtech Benetka

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 146-153 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1458-008
Published: Oct 26, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Differences in Populus nigra L. clone resistance to the rust fungus Melampsora larici-populina Kleb. (MLP) were studied in field trials where infected trees were compared with fungicide-protected trees. MLP rust infections were assessed using a 6-point scale. Four parameters of poplar growth were also measured to gauge host response to infection: shoot thickness, shoot number at the end of the growing season, individual plant dry weight, and dry matter yield per unit area. Five of eight known pathogen virulence types were detected. Cumulative growth in shoot thickness in sprayed and unsprayed plots was similar in clones with high rust pathogen resistance, but significantly different in clones with low resistance. Clones with low resistance also exhibited delayed growth initiation in the year following infection, an effect attributed to lower food storage accumulated during the previous year, reflected in a reduction in stem diameter. Based on stem thickness measurements, it was confirmed growth ceased at the end of August. Average rust severity symptoms ranged from 2.75 to 4.22 on the 6-point scale. The percentage reduction for the various growth parameters resulting from rust infection ranged as follows: individual plant dry weight 5-64%; dry matter yield 21-66%; shoot number 17-46%; and stem diameter 1-35%. Exclusive of stem diameter, these reductions correlated with severity in MLP rust infection. The one exception was tolerance to rust infection displayed by one of the clones. Clones with the lowest growth reductions were 97/152 and 97/157. Growth and yield parameter variation as a result MLP resistance difference was observed among tested P. nigra clones. This variation can be viewed as confirmation that resistance observed in this study and P. nigra clones is a suite of quantitative traits. These findings have important implications for MLP resistance breeding programs.


Stem diameter, Pathogen effects, Pathogen tolerance, Melampsora larici-populina virulence, Field infection

Authors’ address

Petra Štochlová
Katerina Novotná
Vojtech Benetka
Silva Tarouca Research Institute for Landscape and Ornamental Gardening, Publ. Res. Inst., Kvetnové námestí 391, CZ-252 43 Pruhonice (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Katerina Novotná


Štochlová P, Novotná K, Benetka V (2015). Variation in resistance to the rust fungus Melampsora larici-populina Kleb. in Populus nigra L. in the Czech Republic. iForest 9: 146-153. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1458-008

Academic Editor

Alberto Santini

Paper history

Received: Sep 26, 2014
Accepted: Oct 01, 2015

First online: Oct 26, 2015
Publication Date: Feb 21, 2016
Publication Time: 0.83 months

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