Evaluating White Pine Blister Rust Resistance in Ribes after Artificial Inoculation

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  • 1 USDA Forest Service, Placerville Nursery, 2375 Fruitridge Road, Camino, CA 95709; research conducted at North Central Research Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 5985 Hwy. K, Rhinelander, WI, 54501; e-mail pzambino@fs.fed.us.

Artificially inoculated single-leaf cuttings and small plants consistently differentiated european black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) cultivars susceptible to white pine blister rust (WPBR; Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch.) from immune cultivars carrying the Cr resistance gene. Black currant cultivars Consort, Crusader, and Titania showed no signs of infection with any of 21 strains of WPBR, suggesting that strains able to overcome immunity conferred by the Cr resistance gene, if they exist, are uncommon in North America. However, in red currant (Ribes rubrum L.), two sources of material presumed to represent the immune cultivar Viking showed no resistance to infection. All rust strains infected and sporulated as if the cultivar were fully susceptible, casting doubt on the true identity of available sources of `Viking'.

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