Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 265–281 | Cite as

Status and Perspectives of Clubroot Resistance Breeding in Crucifer Crops

  • Elke DiederichsenEmail author
  • Martin Frauen
  • Enrico G. A. Linders
  • Katsunori Hatakeyama
  • Masashi Hirai


Clubroot disease is a major threat to crops belonging to the Brassicaceae. It is controlled most effectively by the use of resistant cultivars. Plasmodiophora brassicae, the causal agent, shows a wide variation for pathogenicity, which can be displayed by using differential host sets. Except for Brassica juncea and B. carinata, resistant accessions can be found in all major crops. Most resistance sources are race-specific, despite some race-independent resistant accessions which can be found in B. oleracea. European field isolates from P. brassicae display great variation and show a tendency to overcome different resistance sources from either B. rapa or B. oleracea. At present, resistance genes from stubble turnips (B. rapa) are most effective and most widely used in resistance breeding of different Brassica crops. Resistance to P. brassicae from turnips was introduced into Chinese cabbage, oilseed rape, and B. oleracea. Although most turnips carry more than one resistance gene, the resistant cultivars from other crops received primarily a single, dominant resistance gene having a race-specific effect. Populations of P. brassicae that are compatible against most of the used resistance sources have been present in certain European areas for many decades. Such pathogen populations appeared in Japanese Chinese cabbage crops only a few years after the introduction of resistant cultivars. As the spread of virulent P. brassicae pathotypes seems to be slow, resistant cultivars are still a very effective method of control in many cropping areas. Mapping studies have revealed the presence of several clubroot-resistance genes in the Brassica A and C genomes; most of these genes are showing race specificity. Only in B. oleracea was one broad-spectrum locus detected. Two loci from the A genome confer resistance to more than one pathotype, but not to all isolates. Progress made in the determination of resistance loci should be used to formulate and introduce an improved differential set. Future efforts for breeding P. brassicae resistance will focus on durability by broadening the genetic basis of clubroot resistance by using either natural variation or transgenic strategies.


Clubroot Plasmodiophora brassicae Resistance Genetics Race differentiation Virulence Brassica Raphanus 



The authors thank Prof. G. R. Dixon and Dr. N. Kubo of Kyoto Prefectural University for their valuable comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elke Diederichsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin Frauen
    • 2
  • Enrico G. A. Linders
    • 3
  • Katsunori Hatakeyama
    • 4
  • Masashi Hirai
    • 5
  1. 1.Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Biologie – Angewandte GenetikBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht H.G. Lembke KGHoltseeGermany
  3. 3.Syngenta Seeds B.V.EnkhuizenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Kyoto Prefectural UniversitySeika, KyotoJapan
  5. 5.National Institute of Vegetable and Tea SciencesAno, TsuJapan

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