One of the most successful means of controlling plant diseases has been the development of varieties with major or vertical resistance genes. This type of resistance is easily manipulated in a breeding program and is efIecÂ tive until strains of the pathogen to which it does not confer resistance beÂ come established. Then, if another gene that conditions resistance to the new strains of the pathogen is available, this resistance gene may be incorporated into the variety by the plant breeder. In doing this, the breeder either conÂ sciously or unconsciously is applying the principle of the gene-far-gene hypothesis. Plants resistant to races that are virulent on old varieties possess the new resistance gene. With the diseases of some crops, this process has becn repeated at relatively frequent intervals (4D, 42, 82). However, in some instances a single gene has conferred adequate resistance for many years 80,82). In plant diseases caused by living organisms, the same phenomena: inÂ fection type in rusts, percent of infected plants in smuts of cereals, fleck or lesion in apple scab, are criteria of both the reaction of the host and the pathogenicity of the parasite. They indicate the relative resistance or susÂ
Annual Review of Phytopathology – Annual Reviews
Published: Sep 1, 1971
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