Sclerotinia stem rot (SSR), caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, can be a devastating disease of canola (Brassica napus) in the northern United States. No canola cultivars are marketed as having resistance to SSR. Field trials were established in Red Lake Falls, MN (2001, 2003, and 2004) and Carrington, ND (2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004) to evaluate canola cultivars for resistance to SSR. These cultivars also were evaluated for resistance to SSR under controlled conditions using the following methods: petiole inoculation technique (PIT), detached leaf assay (DLA), and oxalic acid assay (OAA). Significant (P ≤ 0.05) differences were detected among cultivars for SSR and yield in the field trials, with SSR levels varying from low to high among years and locations. Cultivars with consistent high levels and low levels of SSR in the field trials were identified. Significant (P ≤ 0.05) differences were detected among cultivars for SSR using the PIT and OAA methods, but not the DLA method. No significant (P ≤ 0.05) correlations between SSR levels in the controlled studies with SSR levels in the field trials were detected; however, significant negative correlations were detected between SSR area under the disease process curve values from the PIT method and yield from Carrington, ND in 2001 and 2002. Although the PIT and OAA methods differentiated cultivars, neither method was able to predict the reaction of cultivars to SSR in the field, indicating that field screening for SSR resistance is still critical for the development of resistant cultivars.
- Oilseed rape