Identification of quantitative trait loci for specific mechanisms of resistance to Orobanche crenata Forsk. in pea (Pisum sativum L.)
Crenate broomrape (Orobanche crenata) is the major constraint for pea cultivation in the Mediterranean Basin and Middle East. Cultivation of resistant varieties would be the most efficient, economical and environmentally friendly way to control this parasite. However, little resistance is available within cultivated pea. Promising sources of resistance have been identified in wild peas but their use in breeding programs is hampered by the polygenic nature of the resistance. The identification of molecular markers linked to the resistance would allow tracking of the underlying genes, facilitating their introgression into pea cultivars. The main objective of this study was the identification of genomic regions associated with resistance to O. crenata. A RIL (Recombinant Inbred Lines) population derived from a cross between a resistant accession of the wild pea Pisum sativum ssp. syriacum, and a susceptible pea variety was screened for resistance to O. crenata under field conditions during two seasons. In addition, resistance reactions at different stages of the O. crenata infection cycle were assessed using a Petri dish method. The approach allowed the identification of four Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) associated with field resistance, assessed as the number of emerged broomrape shoots per pea plant under field conditions. These identified QTLs explained individually from 10 to 17% of the phenotypic variation. In addition QTLs governing specific mechanisms of resistance, such as low induction of O. crenata seed germination, lower number of established tubercles per host root length unit, and slower development of tubercles were also identified. Identified QTLs explained individually from 8 to 37% of the variation observed depending on the trait. Host plant aerial biomass and root length were also assessed and mapped. Both traits were correlated with the level of O. crenata infection and three out of the four QTLs controlling resistance under field conditions co-localized with QTLs controlling plant aerial biomass or root length. The relationship observed among these traits and resistance is discussed.
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