Two tightly linked genes coding for NAD-dependent malic enzyme and dynamin-related protein are associated with resistance to Cercospora leaf spot disease in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.)

  • Titnarong Heng
  • Akito Kaga
  • Xin Chen
  • Prakit SomtaEmail author
Original Article


Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) caused by Cercospora canescens is an important disease of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). A previous study using an F2 population [CSR12906 (susceptible) × IT90K-59-120 (resistant)] identified a major QTL qCLS9.1 for resistance to CLS. In this study, we finely mapped and identified candidate genes of qCLS9.1 using an F3:4 population of 699 individuals derived from two F2:3 individuals segregating at qCLS9.1 from the original population. Fine mapping narrowed down the qCLS9.1 for the resistance to a 60.6-Kb region on cowpea chromosome 10. There were two annotated genes in the 60.6-Kb region; Vigun10g019300 coding for NAD-dependent malic enzyme 1 (NAD-ME1) and Vigun10g019400 coding for dynamin-related protein 1C (DRP1C). DNA sequence analysis revealed 12 and 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the coding sequence (CDS) and the 5′ untranslated region and TATA boxes of Vigun10g019300 and Vigun10g019400, respectively. Three SNPs caused amino acid changes in NAD-ME1 in CSR12906, N299S, S488N and S544N. Protein prediction analysis suggested that S488N of CSR12906 may have a deleterious effect on the function of NAD-ME1. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that IT90K-59-120 and CSR12906 challenged with C. canescens showed different expression in both Vigun10g019300 and Vigun10g019400. Taken together, these results indicated that Vigun10g019300 and Vigun10g019400 are the candidate genes for CLS resistance in the cowpea IT90K-59-120. Two derived cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence markers were developed to detect the resistance alleles at Vigun10g019300 and Vigun10g019400 in IT90K-59-120.



This research was supported by the Graduate School Scholarship from The Graduate School, Kasetsart University (Fiscal year 2016–2017) and by the project “The Capacity Building of KU Students on Internationalization Program: KUCSI” of Kasetsart University. We thank Liwen Bianji, Edanz Group China ( for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.

Author contribution

PS conceived the idea of this study, secured research funding and coordinated this study; PS and TH obtained and/or assisted in the maintenance of the plant materials; TH carried out all the experiments in this study; AK was involved in genotyping, gene expression analysis and cDNA sequencing. XC contributed reagents. TH, PS and AK analyzed data and wrote the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

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

Ethical standards

The authors declare that the experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were carried out.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture at Kamphaeng SaenKasetsart UniversityKamphaeng Saen, Nakhon PathomThailand
  2. 2.Soybean and Field Crop Applied Genomics Research Unit, Institute of Crop ScienceNational Agriculture and Food Research OrganizationTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Industrial CropsJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjingChina
  4. 4.Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology: (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE)BangkokThailand

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