, Volume 80, Issue 6, pp 621-629

Molecular characterization of the CRa gene conferring clubroot resistance in Brassica rapa

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Abstract

Clubroot disease is one of the major diseases affecting Brassicaceae crops, and a number of these crops grown commercially, such as Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis), are known to be highly susceptible to clubroot disease. To provide protection from this disease, plant breeders have introduced genes for resistance to clubroot from the European turnip into susceptible lines. The CRa gene confers specific resistance to the clubroot pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae isolate M85. Fine mapping of the CRa locus using synteny to the Arabidopsis thaliana genome and partial genome sequences of B. rapa revealed a candidate gene encoding a TIR-NBS-LRR protein. Several structural differences in this candidate gene were found between susceptible and resistant lines, and CRa expression was observed only in the resistant line. Four mutant lines lacking clubroot resistance were obtained by the UV irradiation of pollen from a resistant line, and all of these mutant lines carried independent mutations in the candidate TIR-NBS-LRR gene. This genetic and molecular evidence strongly suggests that the identified gene is CRa. This is the first report on the molecular characterization of a clubroot Resistance gene in Brassicaceae and of the disease resistance gene in B. rapa.