STAYGREEN (CsSGR) is a candidate for the anthracnose (Colletotrichum orbiculare) resistance locus cla in Gy14 cucumber
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Map-based cloning identified a candidate gene for resistance to the anthracnose fungal pathogen Colletotrichum orbiculare in cucumber, which reveals a novel function for the highly conserved STAYGREEN family genes for host disease resistance in plants.
Colletotrichum orbiculare is a hemibiotrophic fungal pathogen that causes anthracnose disease in cucumber and other cucurbit crops. No host resistance genes against the anthracnose pathogens have been cloned in crop plants. Here, we reported fine mapping and cloning of a resistance gene to the race 1 anthracnose pathogen in cucumber inbred lines Gy14 and WI 2757. Phenotypic and QTL analysis in multiple populations revealed that a single recessive gene, cla, was underlying anthracnose resistance in both lines, but WI2757 carried an additional minor-effect QTL. Fine mapping using 150 Gy14 × 9930 recombinant inbred lines and 1043 F2 individuals delimited the cla locus into a 32 kb region in cucumber Chromosome 5 with three predicted genes. Multiple lines of evidence suggested that the cucumber STAYGREEN (CsSGR) gene is a candidate for the anthracnose resistance locus. A single nucleotide mutation in the third exon of CsSGR resulted in the substitution of Glutamine in 9930 to Arginine in Gy14 in CsSGR protein which seems responsible for the differential anthracnose inoculation responses between Gy14 and 9930. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that CsSGR was significantly upregulated upon anthracnose pathogen inoculation in the susceptible 9930, while its expression was much lower in the resistant Gy14. Investigation of allelic diversities in natural cucumber populations revealed that the resistance allele in almost all improved cultivars or breeding lines of the U.S. origin was derived from PI 197087. This work reveals an unknown function for the highly conserved STAYGREEN (SGR) family genes for host disease resistance in plants.
The authors thank Kristin Haider for technical help and Dr. Yupeng Pan for providing marker data of the WTRIL population. JP’s work was partially funded by the China Scholarship Council. This research was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants under Award Numbers 2013-67013-21105 and 2015-51181-24285 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food. Names are necessary to report factually on available data; however, the USDA neither guarantees nor warrants the standard of the product, and the use of the name by USDA implies no approval of the product to the exclusion of others that may also be suitable. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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