The MLO1 powdery mildew susceptibility gene in Lathyrus species: The power of high-density linkage maps in comparative mapping and synteny analysis.
Powdery mildews are major diseases for a range of crops. The loss of function of specific Mildew Locus O (MLO) genes has long been associated with pre-haustorial plant resistance to powdery mildew and has proven to be durable in several species. Erysiphe pisi is the major causal agent of powdery mildew in pea (Pisum sativum L.) and in the closely related Lathyrus sativus L. and Lathyrus cicera L. PsMLO1 has been extensively studied in pea. However, no MLO gene family members have been isolated and characterized in Lathyrus species so far. In this study, MLO1 genes were isolated and characterized in L. sativus and L. cicera genotypes with varied levels of partial resistance against powdery mildew. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that Lathyrus MLO1 belongs to Clade V, like all dicot MLO proteins associated with powdery mildew susceptibility. A L. sativus recombinant inbred line population (RIL) was genotyped by sequencing to develop a high-density L. sativus genetic linkage map. DNA sequence polymorphisms between the analyzed genotypes allowed the location of MLO1 in the newly developed L. sativus RIL genetic linkage map. Subsequent comparative mapping between L. sativus and L. cicera genetic maps and P. sativum, Lens culinaris Medik., and Medicago truncatula Gaertn. reference genomes revealed important aspects of the conservation of the MLO1 locus position and of the overall chromosomal rearrangements occurring during legume evolution, with relevance to legume disease resistance breeding programs.
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