Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 132, Issue 2, pp 473–488 | Cite as

An evolutionarily conserved non-synonymous SNP in a leucine-rich repeat domain determines anthracnose resistance in watermelon

  • Yoon Jeong Jang
  • Minseok Seo
  • Craig P. Hersh
  • Sun-Ju Rhee
  • Yongjae Kim
  • Gung Pyo LeeEmail author
Original Article


Key message

A non-synonymous SNP of CC–NBS–LRR was firstly mapped to confer resistance to anthracnose in watermelon. Newly proposed LRR domain harboring the SNP is evolutionary conserved in the Cucurbitaceae and Fabaceae.


Anthracnose disease caused by Colletotrichum devastates many plants. Despite the importance of the disease, the mechanisms of resistance against it are poorly understood. Here, we identified a non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) located in a leucine-rich repeat domain as a marker for resistance to anthracnose race 1 in watermelon, using a combination of genetic analyses. We validated this SNP in segregating populations and 59 watermelon accessions using high-resolution melting assays and Sanger sequencing. We demonstrated that the resulting arginine-to-lysine substitution is particularly conserved among the Cucurbitaceae and Fabaceae. We identified a conserved motif, IxxLPxSxxxLYNLQTLxL, found in 1007 orthologues/paralogues from 89 plant species, and discovered that residue 18 of this motif could determine resistance to disease caused by external invaders. This study provides a step forward in understanding anthracnose resistance in watermelon, as well as functional and evolutionary insight into leucine-rich repeat proteins.



This work was supported by the Golden Seed Project (213006051SBV20); the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (MAFRA); the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF); the Rural Development Administration (RDA); and the Korean Forest Service (KFS) of the Republic of Korea.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Data accessibility

The datasets generated for this study are available in the NCBI SRA accession SRP150693.

Supplementary material

122_2018_3235_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3356 kb)
122_2018_3235_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (63 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 63 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Integrative Plant ScienceChung-Ang UniversityAnseongRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Channing Division of Network MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Plant SciencesThe University of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  5. 5.Partner Seeds Co., Ltd.AnseongRepublic of Korea

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