A novel variant of Gh_D02G0276 is required for root-knot nematode resistance on chromosome 14 (D02) in Upland cotton
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MAGIC population sequencing and virus-induced gene silencing identify Gh_D02G0276 as a novel root-knot nematode resistance gene on chromosome 14 in Upland cotton.
The southern root-knot nematode [RKN; Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White)] remains the primary yield-limiting biotic stress to Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) throughout the southeastern USA. While useful genetic markers have been developed for two major RKN resistance loci on chromosomes 11 (A11) and 14 (D02), these markers are not completely effective because the causative genes have not been identified. Here, we sequenced 550 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from a multi-parent advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) population to identify five RILs that had informative recombinations near the D02-RKN resistance locus. The RKN resistance phenotypes of these five RILs narrowed the D02-RKN locus to a 30-kb region with four candidate genes. We conducted virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) on each of these genes and found that Gh_D02G0276 was required for suppression of RKN egg production conferred by the Chr. D02 resistance gene. The resistant lines all possessed an allele of Gh_D02G0276 that showed non-synonymous mutations and was prematurely truncated. Furthermore, a Gh_D02G0276-specific marker for the resistance allele variant was able to identify RKN-resistant germplasm from a collection of 367 cotton accessions. The Gh_D02G0276 peptide shares similarity with domesticated hAT-like transposases with additional novel N- and C-terminal domains that resemble the target of known RKN effector molecules and a prokaryotic motif, respectively. The truncation in the resistance allele results in a loss of a plant nuclear gene-specific C-terminal motif, potentially rendering this domain antigenic due to its high homology with bacterial proteins. The conclusive identification of this RKN resistance gene opens new avenues for understanding plant resistance mechanisms to RKN as well as opportunities to develop more efficient marker-assisted selection in cotton breeding programs.
The authors would like to acknowledge Drs. Marilyn Warburton (USDA-ARS) and Osman Gutierrez (USDA-ARS) for their critical review of the manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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