Puccinia horiana is the causal agent of chrysanthemum white rust or Japanese rust. This microcyclic autoecious rust has a quarantine status and can cause major damage in the commercial production of Chrysanthemum x morifolium. Given the international and often trans-continental production of planting material and cut flowers of chrysanthemum and the decreasing availability of registered fungicides in specific regions, breeding for resistance against P. horiana will gain importance and will need to involve the appropriate resistance genes for the pathotypes that may be present. As pathotypes have not been well
characterized in this system, the main objective was to build an international collection of isolates and screen these on a large collection of cultivars to identify
different pathotypes. Using a robust and high throughput bioassay, we tested 36 selected cultivars with 22 individual single-pustule isolates of P. horiana. The
isolates originated from three different continents over 4 different collection years and included some isolates from cultivars previously reported as resistant. In most cases the bioassays resulted in a clear scoring of interaction phenotypes as susceptible or resistant, while in several cases consistent intermediate phenotypes were found, often on specific cultivars. Twenty-four of the
cultivars gave a differential interaction phenotype profile. All isolates produced a unique profile, infecting a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 19 differential
cultivars. Based on the Person analysis of these profiles, this pathosystem contains at least seven resistance genes (and seven avirulence genes), demonstrating the highly complex race structure in this pathosystem.