Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 131, Issue 7, pp 1423–1432 | Cite as

High-throughput genotyping-by-sequencing facilitates molecular tagging of a novel rust resistance gene, R 15 , in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)

  • G. J. Ma
  • Q. J. Song
  • S. G. Markell
  • L. L. QiEmail author
Original Article


Key message

A novel rust resistance gene, R 15 , derived from the cultivated sunflower HA-R8 was assigned to linkage group 8 of the sunflower genome using a genotyping-by-sequencing approach. SNP markers closely linked to R 15 were identified, facilitating marker-assisted selection of resistance genes.


The rust virulence gene is co-evolving with the resistance gene in sunflower, leading to the emergence of new physiologic pathotypes. This presents a continuous threat to the sunflower crop necessitating the development of resistant sunflower hybrids providing a more efficient, durable, and environmentally friendly host plant resistance. The inbred line HA-R8 carries a gene conferring resistance to all known races of the rust pathogen in North America and can be used as a broad-spectrum resistance resource. Based on phenotypic assessments of 140 F2 individuals derived from a cross of HA 89 with HA-R8, rust resistance in the population was found to be conferred by a single dominant gene (R 15 ) originating from HA-R8. Genotypic analysis with the currently available SSR markers failed to find any association between rust resistance and any markers. Therefore, we used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) analysis to achieve better genomic coverage. The GBS data showed that R 15 was located at the top end of linkage group (LG) 8. Saturation with 71 previously mapped SNP markers selected within this region further showed that it was located in a resistance gene cluster on LG8, and mapped to a 1.0-cM region between three co-segregating SNP makers SFW01920, SFW00128, and SFW05824 as well as the NSA_008457 SNP marker. These closely linked markers will facilitate marker-assisted selection and breeding in sunflower.



We thank Drs. Gerald Seiler and Yueqiang Leng for critical review of the manuscript, and Angelia Hogness for technical assistance. This project was supported by the USDA-AMS Specialty Crop Block Grant Program 14-SCBGP-ND-0038 and the USDA-ARS CRIS Project No. 3060-21000-039-00D. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The experiments were performed in compliment with the current laws of United States of America.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Ma
    • 1
  • Q. J. Song
    • 2
  • S. G. Markell
    • 1
  • L. L. Qi
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Soybean Genomics and Improvement LaboratoryUSDA-Agricultural Research ServiceBeltsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Red River Valley Agricultural Research CenterUSDA-Agricultural Research ServiceFargoUSA

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