Digging out the unknown: Finding the resistance against verticillium stripe in canola

Key Result

This project is still in progress, but aims to evaluate verticillium stripe disease resistance in commercial B. napus varieties to give a better knowledge of the ‘resistance’ label in commercial, breeding lines.

Project Summary


Verticillium stripe disease caused by Verticillium longisporum has been identified in canola in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. Similar to other soil-borne diseases, recommended management for this disease includes crop rotation, controlling host weeds (Brassica relatives), green manures of agricultural practices, etc.

However, no foliar or seed treatment fungicides are registered for verticillium stripe in canola in Canada. To date, host-specific resistance against V. longisporum in B. napus has not been reported, and in addition, no commercial varieties show resistance to verticillium stripe disease. Thus, seeking resistance in Brassica species is urgently required work before breeding and integrated pest management of the verticillium stripe disease.


Building on previous work on novel resistance gene identification against blackleg pathogen and the Verticillium disease etiology and nursery project, this research aims to identify the resistance genes/sources against V. longisporum pathogen.

Specifically, the research team will focus on:

  1. Evaluate the verticillium stripe disease resistance in a large B. napus genotypes collection through field plot trials and label the high, moderate, and low ‘resistance’.
  2. Understand the population diversity, structure, phylogenetic relations of the panel.
  3. Identify the resistance loci/genes through GWAS.
  4. Produce the genetic population for fine mapping the candidate genes.
  5. Develop and release KASP marker to the seed industry, growers, researchers for the marker-assisted breeding program.

Potential impact

This project have potential to benefit the seed industry, growers, and the canola trade organizations, and an immense economic contribution to the Canadian economy (yearly revenues).

More specifically, the screened resistance B. napus genotypes can be adopted to disease breeding programs directly. The susceptibilities against Verticillium longisporum pathogen in select commercial canola varieties will also be reported to the industry, which could allow for verticillium stripe disease resistance labeling in frequently used canola varieties.