Identification of Root Rot Resistance QTLs in Pea Using Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi-Responsive Differentially Expressed Genes.
Pisum sativum (pea) yields in the United States have declined significantly over the last decades, predominantly due to susceptibility to root rot diseases. One of the main causal agents of root rot is the fungus Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi (Fsp), leading to yield losses ranging from 15 to 60%. Determining and subsequently incorporating the genetic basis for resistance in new cultivars offers one of the best solutions to control this pathogen; however, no green-seeded pea cultivars with complete resistance to Fsp have been identified. To date, only partial levels of resistance to Fsp has been identified among pea genotypes. SNPs mined from Fsp-responsive differentially expressed genes (DEGs) identified in a preceding study were utilized to identify QTLs associated with Fsp resistance using composite interval mapping in two recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations segregating for partial root rot resistance. A total of 769 DEGs with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified, and the putative SNPs were evaluated for being polymorphic across four partially resistant and four susceptible P. sativum genotypes. The SNPs with validated polymorphisms were used to screen two RIL populations using two phenotypic criteria: root disease severity and plant height. One QTL, WB.Fsp-Ps 5.1 that mapped to chromosome 5 explained 14.8% of the variance with a confidence interval of 10.4 cM. The other four QTLs located on chromosomes 2, 3, and 5, explained 5.3-8.1% of the variance. The use of SNPs derived from Fsp-responsive DEGs for QTL mapping proved to be an efficient way to identify molecular markers associated with Fsp resistance in pea. These QTLs are potential candidates for marker-assisted selection and gene pyramiding to obtain high levels of partial resistance in pea cultivars to combat root rot caused by Fsp.
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