Prescreening slash pine and Cronartium pedigrees for evaluation of complementary gene action in fusiform rust disease.
Single-urediniospore cultures of the fusiform rust fungus were used to inoculate seedlings from 10 full-sib families of a five-parent slash pine diallel at two different times in 1994. The presence or absence of fusiform rust galls was recorded for each inoculated seedling at 9 months postinoculation, and percent infection levels for each family-inoculum-time combination were used for detecting differences among host families and fungal cultures and for identifying differential interactions. The existence of differential interactions between two or more fungal cultures and two or more host families verifies that complementary gene action does exist in this pathosystem. Some host families may be excluded from more detailed interaction studies on the basis of their redundancy and lack of participation in differential interactions.