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20 Apr 2021

First sclerotinia-tolerant WOSR hits the market

by Arable Farming

A breakthrough gene that can reduce sclerotinia outbreaks in oilseed rape crops by up to 75% has made it into the first commercial variety, without compromising yield or other disease resistance traits. Alice Dyer reports.

Hybrid variety PT303, from Cortevas seed brand Pioneer, is the first winter oilseed rape variety with a claim for partial resistance to sclerotinia.

In Corteva trials with sclerotinia infection levels at 25% or above, the severity of the disease was reduced by 33% on average compared to non-tolerant varieties and by up to 75% in some cases.

Trials also showed that the higher the severity of disease, the greater the benefit from the trait.

But with no sclerotinia resistance rating in UK testing programmes, Pioneer Protector PT303 made it onto the AHDB Candidate List based on its other agronomic merits.

The variety delivered the highest gross output yields in each AHDB region, including a UK yield of 111%.

In the East/West it had a gross output yield of 116% and it also topped the North with a yield of 105%.

Corteva seeds and inoculants sales manager Andy Stainthorpe says: This hybrid tops the Candidate List based on the existing protocol, without consideration for its sclerotinia tolerance.

Based on this, it ranks the highest candidate for gross output in all regions.

It has a high oil content of 46.2%, 7 for stem canker, 6 for light leaf spot, as well as turnip yellows virus resistance.

It has high lodging resistance at 9 and an 8 for stem stiffness.

It is later to flower at 4 but its maturity is in line with control varieties on the list at 6. PT303 will be considered for the AHDB Recommended List this autumn.

into our germplasm it exhibits the strengths of our conventional material high oil, strong lodging tolerance and solid phoma and light leaf spot tolerance.

On top of this, it has turnip yellows virus tolerance, validated in French official trials.

This is the kind of hybrid with broad commercialisation we are targeting in our strategy.

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