Two alternative recessive quantitative trait loci influence resistance to spring black stem and leaf spot in Medicago truncatula
1 Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens, State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Murdoch University, Perth 6150, Western Australia, Australia
2 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Plant Industry, Private Bag No. 5, Wembley 6913, Western Australia, Australia
BMC Plant Biology 2008, 8:30 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-30Published: 26 March 2008
Knowledge of the genetic basis of plant resistance to necrotrophic pathogens is incomplete and has been characterised in relatively few pathosystems. In this study, the cytology and genetics of resistance to spring black stem and leaf spot caused by Phoma medicaginis, an economically important necrotrophic pathogen of Medicago spp., was examined in the model legume M. truncatula.
Macroscopically, the resistant response of accession SA27063 was characterised by small, hypersensitive-like spots following inoculation while the susceptible interaction with accessions A17 and SA3054 showed necrotic lesions and spreading chlorosis. No unique cytological differences were observed during early infection (<48 h) between the resistant and susceptible genotypes, except pathogen growth was restricted to one or a few host cells in SA27063. In both interactions reactive oxygen intermediates and phenolic compounds were produced, and cell death occurred. Two F2 populations segregating for resistance to spring black stem and leaf spot were established between SA27063 and the two susceptible accessions, A17 and SA3054. The cross between SA27063 and A17 represented a wider cross than between SA27063 and SA3054, as evidenced by higher genetic polymorphism, reduced fertility and aberrant phenotypes of F2 progeny. In the SA27063 × A17 F2 population a highly significant quantitative trait locus (QTL, LOD = 7.37; P < 0.00001) named
The induction of defence responses and cell death in the susceptible interaction following infection by P. medicaginis suggested this pathogen is not negatively affected by these responses and may promote them. A QTL for resistance was revealed in each of two populations derived from crosses between a resistant accession and two different susceptible accessions. Both loci are recessive in nature, and the simplest explanation for the existence of two separate QTLs is the occurrence of host genotype-specific susceptibility loci that may interact with undetermined P. medicaginis virulence factors.