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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Cereal Resistance Breeding Department, Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research Brunszvik u. 2 H-2462 Martonvásár Hungary
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Infection with fungal pathogens on wheat varieties with different levels of resistance was tested at ambient (NC, 390 ppm) and elevated (EC, 750 ppm) atmospheric CO2 levels in the phytotron. EC was found to affect many aspects of the plant-pathogen interaction. Infection with most fungal diseases was usually found to be promoted by elevated CO2 level in susceptible varieties. Powdery mildew, leaf rust and stem rust produced more severe symptoms on plants of susceptible varieties, while resistant varieties were not infected even at EC. The penetration of Fusarium head blight (FHB) into the spike was delayed by EC in Mv Mambo, while it was unaffected in Mv Regiment and stimulated in Mv Emma. EC increased the propagation of FHB in Mv Mambo and Mv Emma. Enhanced resistance to the spread of Fusarium within the plant was only found in Mv Regiment, which has good resistance to penetration but poor resistance to the spread of FHB at NC. FHB infection was more severe at EC in two varieties, while the plants of Mv Regiment, which has the best field resistance at NC, did not exhibit a higher infection level at EC.The above results suggest that breeding for new resistant varieties will remain a useful means of preventing more severe infection in a future with higher atmospheric CO2 levels.

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