, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 103-116

The Vh2 and Vh4 scab resistance genes in two differential hosts derived from Russian apple R12740-7A map to the same linkage group of apple

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Abstract

Russian apple R12740-7A is the designation for an accession grown from seed collected in Russia, which was found to be highly resistant to apple scab. The resistance has historically been attributed to a naturally pyramided complex involving three major genes: one race-nonspecific gene, Vr, conditioning resistance to all known races, plus two race-specific genes. The race-nonspecific gene was identified as an independently segregating gene by Dayton and Williams (1968) and is referred to in this paper as Vr-DW. The first researchers to study the scab resistance gene complex in Russian apple never described the phenotype conditioned by the race-nonspecific gene. Later, Aldwinckle et al. (1976) associated the name Vr with a scab resistance gene conditioning distinctive stellate necrotic reactions, which we refer to as Vr-A in order to distinguish it from Vr-DW. We show that the segregation ratios in progenies from the scab differential hosts 2 and 4 that are derived from Russian apple, crossed with susceptible cultivars were consistent with a single gene conditioning resistance in each host. The genes have been named Vh2 and Vh4, respectively. Resistant segregants from host 2 showed stellate necrotic reactions, while those from host 4 showed hypersensitive reactions. Both the phenotypes and the genetic maps for the genes in the respective hosts were very similar to those of the genes previously named Vr-A and Vx, respectively, in an F1 family of Russian apple. We showed that race 2 of V. inaequalis isolated from host 2 was able to infect resistant descendants of the non-differential accession PRI 442-23 as well as host 2. The descendants of PRI 442-23 were expected to carry the race-nonspecific Vr-DW gene, but in fact carry Vr-A. We conclude that the Vh2 gene in host 2 and Vr-A are the same, and that the Vh4 gene in host 4 and Vx are the same. However, a major finding of this study is that the latter gene mapped to linkage group 2 of apple instead of linkage group 10 as suggested from previous research. With the two race-specific genes from Russian apple defined now, we discuss the nature of the race-nonspecific Vr-DW gene in this accession. We also report the identification of a new scab resistance gene, VT57, from either ‘Golden Delicious’ or ‘Red Dougherty’, which conditions chlorotic resistance reactions and is linked to Vh2.