Alternaria blight is one of the most deadly diseases of oilseed Brassica. This recalcitrant disease causes up to 50% yield loss across the globe. The disease is mainly caused by Alternaria brassicae and Alternaria brassicicola. These pathogens lack sexual stages and survive as conidia or condiospores on the debris of previous crops and susceptible weeds. Developing resistant oilseed Brassica cultivars to this disease has become a prime concern for researchers over the years. In absence of resistant oilseed Brassica cultivar, identification and introgression of resistance related genes can be a potential source for Alternaria blight resistance. As resistance toward Alternaria blight is governed by polygenes, intercrossing between the tolerant genotypes and subsequent selection will be the most appropriate way to transfer the quantitative resistance. For that reason, future breeding goal should focus on screening of germplasms for selecting genotypes containing resistance genes and structural features that favors resistance, like thick epicuticular wax, biochemical components such as phenols, phytoalexins and lower soluble sugars, reducing sugars and soluble nitrogen. Selected genotypes should be brought under appropriate breeding programs for attaining Alternaria blight resistance.
Part of the book: Brassica Breeding and Biotechnology