Fine mapping of Brassica napus blackleg resistance gene Rlm1 through bulked segregant RNA sequencing.
ABSTRACT: The fungal pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans causes blackleg disease on canola and rapeseed (Brassica napus) in many parts of the world. A B. napus cultivar, 'Quinta', has been widely used for the classification of L. maculans into pathogenicity groups. In this study, we confirmed the presence of Rlm1 in a DH line (DH24288) derived from B. napus cultivar 'Quinta'. Rlm1 was located on chromosome A07, between 13.07 to 22.11?Mb, using a BC1 population made from crosses of F1 plants of DH16516 (a susceptible line) x DH24288 with bulked segregant RNA Sequencing (BSR-Seq). Rlm1 was further fine mapped in a 100?kb region from 19.92 to 20.03?Mb in the BC1 population consisting of 1247 plants and a F2 population consisting of 3000 plants using SNP markers identified from BSR-Seq through Kompetitive Allele-Specific PCR (KASP). A potential resistance gene, BnA07G27460D, was identified in this Rlm1 region. BnA07G27460D encodes a serine/threonine dual specificity protein kinase, catalytic domain and is homologous to STN7 in predicted genes of B. rapa and B. oleracea, and A. thaliana. Robust SNP markers associated with Rlm1 were developed, which can assist in introgression of Rlm1 and confirm the presence of Rlm1 gene in canola breeding programs.
Project description:Brassica napus (canola) cultivars and isolates of the blackleg fungus, Leptosphaeria maculans interact in a 'gene for gene' manner whereby plant resistance (R) genes are complementary to pathogen avirulence (Avr) genes. Avirulence genes encode proteins that belong to a class of pathogen molecules known as effectors, which includes small secreted proteins that play a role in disease. In Australia in 2003 canola cultivars with the Rlm1 resistance gene suffered a breakdown of disease resistance, resulting in severe yield losses. This was associated with a large increase in the frequency of virulence alleles of the complementary avirulence gene, AvrLm1, in fungal populations. Surprisingly, the frequency of virulence alleles of AvrLm6 (complementary to Rlm6) also increased dramatically, even though the cultivars did not contain Rlm6. In the L. maculans genome, AvrLm1 and AvrLm6 are linked along with five other genes in a region interspersed with transposable elements that have been degenerated by Repeat-Induced Point (RIP) mutations. Analyses of 295 Australian isolates showed deletions, RIP mutations and/or non-RIP derived amino acid substitutions in the predicted proteins encoded by these seven genes. The degree of RIP mutations within single copy sequences in this region was proportional to their proximity to the degenerated transposable elements. The RIP alleles were monophyletic and were present only in isolates collected after resistance conferred by Rlm1 broke down, whereas deletion alleles belonged to several polyphyletic lineages and were present before and after the resistance breakdown. Thus, genomic environment and exposure to resistance genes in B. napus has affected the evolution of these linked avirulence genes in L. maculans.
Project description:Using cultivar resistance against pathogens is one of the most economical and environmentally friendly methods for control of crop diseases. However, cultivar resistance can be easily rendered ineffective due to changes in pathogen populations or environments. To test the hypothesis that combining R gene-mediated resistance and quantitative resistance (QR) in one cultivar can provide more effective resistance than use of either type of resistance on its own, effectiveness of resistance in eight oilseed rape (Brassica napus) cultivars with different R genes and/or QR against Leptosphaeria maculans (phoma stem canker) was investigated in 13 different environments/sites over three growing seasons (2010/2011, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013). Cultivar Drakkar with no R genes and no QR was used as susceptible control and for sampling L. maculans populations. Isolates of L. maculans were obtained from the 13 sites in 2010/2011 to assess frequencies of avirulent alleles of different effector genes (AvrLm1, AvrLm4 or AvrLm7) corresponding to the resistance genes (Rlm1, Rlm4 or Rlm7) used in the field experiments. Results of field experiments showed that cultivars DK Cabernet (Rlm1 + QR) and Adriana (Rlm4 + QR) had significantly less severe phoma stem canker than cultivars Capitol (Rlm1) and Bilbao (Rlm4), respectively. Results of controlled environment experiments confirmed the presence of Rlm genes and/or QR in these four cultivars. Analysis of L. maculans populations from different sites showed that the mean frequencies of AvrLm1 (10%) and AvrLm4 (41%) were less than that of AvrLm7 (100%), suggesting that Rlm1 and Rlm4 gene-mediated resistances were partially rendered ineffective while Rlm7 resistance was still effective. Cultivar Excel (Rlm7 + QR) had less severe canker than cultivar Roxet (Rlm7), but the difference between them was not significant due to influence of the effective resistance gene Rlm7. For the two cultivars with only QR, Es-Astrid (QR) had less severe stem canker than NK Grandia (QR). Analysis of the relationship between severity of stem canker and weather data among the 13 sites in the three growing seasons showed that increased severity of stem canker was associated with increased rainfall during the phoma leaf spot development stage and increased temperature during the stem canker development stage. Further analysis of cultivar response to environmental factors showed that cultivars with both an Rlm gene and QR (e.g. DK Cabernet, Adriana and Excel) were less sensitive to a change in environment than cultivars with only Rlm genes (e.g. Capitol, Bilbao) or only QR (e.g. DK Grandia). These results suggest that combining R gene and QR can provide effective, stable control of phoma stem canker in different environments.
Project description:Key message "We identified both quantitative and quantitative resistance loci to Leptosphaeria maculans, a fungal pathogen, causing blackleg disease in canola. Several genome-wide significant associations were detected at known and new loci for blackleg resistance. We further validated statistically significant associations in four genetic mapping populations, demonstrating that GWAS marker loci are indeed associated with resistance to L. maculans. One of the novel loci identified for the first time, Rlm12, conveys adult plant resistance in canola." Blackleg, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, is a significant disease which affects the sustainable production of canola (Brassica napus). This study reports a genome-wide association study based on 18,804 polymorphic SNPs to identify loci associated with qualitative and quantitative resistance to L. maculans. Genomic regions delimited with 694 significant SNP markers, that are associated with resistance evaluated using 12 single spore isolates and pathotypes from four canola stubble were identified. Several significant associations were detected at known disease resistance loci including in the vicinity of recently cloned Rlm2/LepR3 genes, and at new loci on chromosomes A01/C01, A02/C02, A03/C03, A05/C05, A06, A08, and A09. In addition, we validated statistically significant associations on A01, A07, and A10 in four genetic mapping populations, demonstrating that GWAS marker loci are indeed associated with resistance to L. maculans. One of the novel loci identified for the first time, Rlm12, conveys adult plant resistance and mapped within 13.2 kb from Arabidopsis R gene of TIR-NBS class. We showed that resistance loci are located in the vicinity of R genes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus on the sequenced genome of B. napus cv. Darmor-bzh. Significantly associated SNP markers provide a valuable tool to enrich germplasm for favorable alleles in order to improve the level of resistance to L. maculans in canola.
Project description:Two stilbenes, resveratrol and pterostilbene, exhibit antifungal activity against Leptosphaeria maculans, the fungal pathogen responsible for blackleg (stem canker) in canola (Brassica napus). In vitro studies on the effect of these stilbenes on L. maculans mycelial growth and conidia germination showed that pterostilbene is a potent fungicide and sporicide, but resveratrol only exerted minor inhibition on L. maculans. Cell viability of hyphae cultures was markedly reduced by pterostilbene and SYTOX green staining showed that cell membrane integrity was compromised. We demonstrate that pterostilbene exerts fungicidal activity across 10 different L. maculans isolates and the compound confers protection to the blackleg-susceptible canola cv. Westar seedlings. The potential of pterostilbene as a control agent against blackleg in canola is discussed.
Project description:A pathogenicity gene has been identified in Leptosphaeria maculans, the ascomycetous fungus that causes blackleg disease of canola (Brassica napus). This gene encodes isocitrate lyase, a component of the glyoxylate cycle, and is essential for the successful colonization of B. napus. It was identified by a reverse genetics approach whereby a plasmid conferring hygromycin resistance was inserted randomly into the L. maculans genome. Twelve of 516 transformants tested had reduced pathogenicity on cotyledons of B. juncea and B. napus, and 1 of these 12 had a deletion of the isocitrate lyase gene, as well as an insertion of the hygromycin resistance gene. This mutant was unable to grow on fatty acids, including monolaurate, and the isocitrate lyase transcript was not detected. When the wild-type gene was reintroduced into the mutant, growth on monolaurate was restored and pathogenicity was partially restored. L. maculans isocitrate lyase is produced during infection of B. napus cotyledons, while the plant homologue is not. When 2.5% glucose was added to the inoculum of the isocitrate lyase mutant, lesions of sizes similar to those caused by wild-type isolate M1 developed on B. napus cotyledons. These findings suggest that the glyoxylate pathway is essential for disease development by this plant-pathogenic fungus, as has been shown recently for a fungal and bacterial pathogen of animals and a bacterial pathogen of plants. Involvement of the glyoxylate pathway in pathogenesis in animals and plants presents potential drug targets for control of diseases.
Project description:Genes coding for nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptors (NLRs) control resistance against intracellular (cell-penetrating) pathogens. However, evidence for a role of genes coding for proteins with LRR domains in resistance against extracellular (apoplastic) fungal pathogens is limited. Here, the distribution of genes coding for proteins with eLRR domains but lacking kinase domains was determined for the Brassica napus genome. Predictions of signal peptide and transmembrane regions divided these genes into 184 coding for receptor-like proteins (RLPs) and 121 coding for secreted proteins (SPs). Together with previously annotated NLRs, a total of 720 LRR genes were found. Leptosphaeria maculans-induced expression during a compatible interaction with cultivar Topas differed between RLP, SP and NLR gene families; NLR genes were induced relatively late, during the necrotrophic phase of pathogen colonization. Seven RLP, one SP and two NLR genes were found in Rlm1 and Rlm3/Rlm4/Rlm7/Rlm9 loci for resistance against L. maculans on chromosome A07 of B. napus. One NLR gene at the Rlm9 locus was positively selected, as was the RLP gene on chromosome A10 with LepR3 and Rlm2 alleles conferring resistance against L. maculans races with corresponding effectors AvrLm1 and AvrLm2, respectively. Known loci for resistance against L. maculans (extracellular hemi-biotrophic fungus), Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (necrotrophic fungus) and Plasmodiophora brassicae (intracellular, obligate biotrophic protist) were examined for presence of RLPs, SPs and NLRs in these regions. Whereas loci for resistance against P. brassicae were enriched for NLRs, no such signature was observed for the other pathogens. These findings demonstrate involvement of (i) NLR genes in resistance against the intracellular pathogen P. brassicae and a putative NLR gene in Rlm9-mediated resistance against the extracellular pathogen L. maculans.
Project description:Leptosphaeria maculans, the causal agent of blackleg disease in canola (Brassica napus), secretes an array of effectors into the host to overcome host defense. Here we present evidence that the L. maculans effector protein AvrLm1 functions as a virulence factor by interacting with the B. napus mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase 9 (BnMPK9), resulting in increased accumulation and enhanced phosphorylation of the host protein. Transient expression of BnMPK9 in Nicotiana benthamiana induces cell death, and this phenotype is enhanced in the presence of AvrLm1, suggesting that induction of cell death due to enhanced accumulation and phosphorylation of BnMPK9 by AvrLm1 supports the initiation of necrotrophic phase of L. maculans infection. Stable expression of BnMPK9 in B. napus perturbs hormone signaling, notably salicylic acid response genes, to facilitate L. maculans infection. Our findings provide evidence that a MAP kinase is directly targeted by a fungal effector to modulate plant immunity.
Project description:The dicarboximide fungicide iprodione has been used to combat blackleg disease of canola (Brassica napus), caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans. For example, in Australia the fungicide was used in the late 1990s but is no longer registered for use against blackleg disease, and therefore the impact of iprodione on L. maculans has not been investigated.Resistance to iprodione emerged spontaneously under in vitro conditions at high frequency. A basis for this resistance was mutations in the hos1 gene that encodes a predicted osmosensing histidine kinase. While loss of the homologous histidine kinase in some fungi has deleterious effects on growth and pathogenicity, the L. maculans strains with the hos1 gene mutated had reduced growth under high salt conditions, but were still capable of causing lesions on B. napus. The relative ease to isolate mutants with resistance to iprodione provided a method to develop and then optimize a CRISPR/Cas9 system for gene disruptions in L. maculans, a species that until now has been particularly difficult to manipulate by targeted gene disruptions.While iprodione is initially effective against L. maculans in vitro, resistance emerges easily and these strains are able to cause lesions on canola. This may explain the limited efficacy of iprodione in field conditions. Iprodione resistance, such as through mutations of genes like hos1, provides an effective direction for the optimization of gene disruption techniques.
Project description:Seven blackleg resistance (R) genes (Rlm1, Rlm2, Rlm3, Rlm4, LepR1, LepR2 & LepR3) were each introgressed into a common susceptible B. napus doubled-haploid (DH) line through reciprocal back-crossing, producing single-R gene introgression lines (ILs) for use in the pathological and molecular study of Brassica-Leptosphaeria interactions. The genomic positions of the R genes were defined through molecular mapping and analysis with transgenic L. maculans isolates was used to confirm the identity of the introgressed genes where possible. Using L. maculans isolates of contrasting avirulence gene (Avr) profiles, we preformed extensive differential pathology for phenotypic comparison of the ILs to other B. napus varieties, demonstrating the ILs can provide for the accurate assessment of Avr-R gene interactions by avoiding non-Avr dependant alterations to resistance responses which can occur in some commonly used B. napus varieties. Whole-genome SNP-based assessment allowed us to define the donor parent introgressions in each IL and provide a strong basis for comparative molecular dissection of the pathosystem.
Project description:Callose plays a critical role in different biological processes including development as well as in the response to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, we characterized the callose deposition in cotyledons of different Brassica napus varieties post-inoculated with different Leptosphaeria maculans isolates. Further, members of the callose synthase gene were identified from the whole genome of B. napus using the 12 Arabidopsis thaniana callose synthase protein sequences, and were then classified into three groups based on their phylogenetic relationships. Chromosomal location and duplication patterns indicated uneven distribution and segmental duplication patterns of BnCalS genes in the B. napus genome. Subsequently, gene structures, conserved domains analysis, and protein properties were analyzed for BnCalS genes. In addition, 12 B. napus orthologs of the AtCalS were selected for investigating the tissue expression pattern, indicating diverse expression patterns for these BnCalS genes. Responses of the selected 12 orthologs and all the BnCalS genes were characterized in the different types (AvrLm1-Rlm1, AvrLm4-Rlm4, AvrLepR1-LepR1) of B. napus?L. maculans interactions and B. napus-Leptosphaeria biglobosa interactions, implying their potential roles in response to Leptosphaeria infection.