Durum wheat mediterranean landraces: a valuable source for resistance to tan spot disease
Tan spot (TS), caused by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr), has gained significant importance in Tunisia. In this study, a Mediterranean durum wheat collection of 113 accessions were evaluated under field conditions, during the 2018–2019 cropping season, for resistance to Ptr at Koudia experimental station in Bou Salem (Tunisia). The disease progress curve (AUDPC) was used to screen this collection, and the effect of days to heading (DH) and plant height (PH) were evaluated in relation to TS resistance. No significant correlation of PH with AUDPC was found, yet a significant correlation (r = 0.212, p ≤ 0.05) was established between DH and AUDPC scores, suggesting that DH may have an effect on TS development. Moreover, correlation between seedling and adult reactions was significant (r = 0.695, p ≤ 0.001). Although susceptible accessions clustered separately from resistant accessions, the clustering was independent of the country of origin and the status of improvement of the wheat accessions. In total, 67% and 80% of resistant and moderately resistant accessions, respectively, were landraces, suggesting therefore the possible presence of novel sources of resistance to Ptr in some landraces, which can be used to establish a breeding program for resistance to tan spot disease.