Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 501–513 | Cite as

Development of allele-specific PCR and RT–PCR assays for clustered resistance genes using a potato late blight resistance transgene as a model

Original Paper


Members of the NBS-LRR gene family impart resistance to a wide variety of pathogens and are often found clustered within a plant genome. This clustering of homologous sequences can complicate PCR-based characterizations, especially the study of transgenes. We have developed allele-specific PCR and RT–PCR assays for the potato late blight resistance gene RB. Our assay utilizes two approaches toward primer design, allowing discrimination between the RB transgene and both the endogenous RB gene and numerous RB homeologs. First, a reverse primer was designed to take advantage of an indel present in the RB transgene but absent in rb susceptibility alleles, enhancing specificity for the transgene, though not fully discriminating against RB homeologs. Second, a forward primer was designed according to the principles of mismatch amplification mutation assay (MAMA) PCR, targeting SNPs introduced during the cloning of RB. Together, the indel reverse primer and the MAMA forward primer provide an assay that is highly specific for the RB transgene, being capable of distinguishing the transgene from all RB endogenous gene copies and from all RB paralogs in a diverse collection of wild and cultivated potato genotypes. These primers have been successfully multiplexed with primers of an internal control. The multiplexed assay is useful for both PCR and RT–PCR applications. Double MAMA-PCR, in which both PCR primers target separate transgene-specific SNPs, was also tested and shown to be equally specific for the RB transgene. We propose extending the use of MAMA for the characterization of resistance transgenes.

Supplementary material

122_2006_449_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (164 kb)
S1 and S2 (PDF 164 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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