The gene Cr811 is present exclusively in pathotype 5 and new emerged pathotypes of the clubroot pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae
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This study was conducted with the objective of finding genetic marker(s) to differentiate pathotypes of the clubroot pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae. Ideally, such markers should be used as a diagnostic tool to identify or predict certain pathotypes. By using PCR with gene-specific primers, 117 non-housekeeping P. brassicae genes were investigated for their presence/absence in isolates representing pathotypes 2, 3, 5, 6 or 8 (Williams’ system), and in new strains of the pathogen recently identified from Alberta, Canada, which are highly virulent on clubroot resistant canola (Brassica napus) cultivars. One gene, named Cr811, was present in isolates of pathotype 5 and in a new strain of P. brassicae that also is classified as pathotype 5 on the system of Williams, but causes severe clubroot on resistant canola. Three additional newly identified virulent populations, similar to pathotype 3, also were tested and found to carry Cr811. In contrast, the Cr811 gene was absent in all isolates representing the original pathotypes 2, 3, 6 and 8. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated greater copy numbers of Cr811 in the new virulent pathotype 3-like and pathotype 5-like populations versus the original pathotype 5, indicating a potential method to identify new pathotypes of P. brassicae before the breakdown of resistance could be detected in a canola crop. The association of Cr811 with infection by P. brassicae of previously resistant canola cultivars, as revealed by qPCR analysis, suggests that Cr811 plays an important role in the interaction between host resistance and P. brassicae pathogenicity.
KeywordsPathogenicity Virulence Resistance Pathotype Diagnosis Plastid
The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund Ltd., the Canola Agronomic Research Program, the Growing Forward 2 Program (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Canola Council of Canada), and the provincial canola grower groups including the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, SaskCanola, and the Manitoba Canola Growers Association.
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