A national approach to the assignment of root lesion nematode (Pratylenchus thornei and P. neglectus) resistance ratings in winter pulses was implemented. Growers can use these ratings to select rotational crops with resistance, and therefore reduce nematode densities in the field, and the yield loss in following intolerant cereal crops.
Varietal resistance/susceptibility ratings are communicated to industry through publication in disease guides. In pulses, prior to a national rating system, individual states released separate crop/varietal ratings. These ratings were often based on only a few experiments, either in the glasshouse or field. Recently, a system similar to the system used in cereals has been adopted in pulses. This has collated nematode resistance data from field or controlled environment experiments nationally, with resistance ratings applied to individual varieties by pathologists. Breeders are then consulted on the ratings, with the consensus ratings released to industry. National ratings have been developed for field pea, lentil, chickpea and faba bean.
This national approach to resistance ratings has accelerated their release and improved accuracy. The process highlighted variation in resistance to root lesion nematodes within each crop, and the importance of ongoing screening of varieties to root lesion nematodes. Varieties that will provide control of root lesion nematodes to growers were identified, allowing growers to select varieties that will reduce nematode densities and yield losses. The collated data also allows breeders and pre-breeders to identify and use sources of resistance in their breeding programs.