Molecular characterisation and genetic mapping of candidate genes for qualitative disease resistance in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Qualitative pathogen resistance in both dicotyledenous and monocotyledonous plants has been attributed to the action of resistance (R) genes, including those encoding nucleotide binding site--leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins and receptor-like kinase enzymes. This study describes the large-scale isolation and characterisation of candidate R genes from perennial ryegrass. The analysis was based on the availability of an expressed sequence tag (EST) resource and a functionally-integrated bioinformatics database. RESULTS:Amplification of R gene sequences was performed using template EST data and information from orthologous candidate using a degenerate consensus PCR approach. A total of 102 unique partial R genes were cloned, sequenced and functionally annotated. Analysis of motif structure and R gene phylogeny demonstrated that Lolium R genes cluster with putative ortholoci, and evolved from common ancestral origins. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) predicted through resequencing of amplicons from the parental genotypes of a genetic mapping family were validated, and 26 distinct R gene loci were assigned to multiple genetic maps. Clusters of largely non-related NBS-LRR genes were located at multiple distinct genomic locations and were commonly found in close proximity to previously mapped defence response (DR) genes. A comparative genomics analysis revealed the co-location of several candidate R genes with disease resistance quantitative trait loci (QTLs). CONCLUSION:This study is the most comprehensive analysis to date of qualitative disease resistance candidate genes in perennial ryegrass. SNPs identified within candidate genes provide a valuable resource for mapping in various ryegrass pair cross-derived populations and further germplasm analysis using association genetics. In parallel with the use of specific pathogen virulence races, such resources provide the means to identify gene-for-gene mechanisms for multiple host pathogen-interactions and ultimately to obtain durable field-based resistance.

publication date

  • 2009