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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Identify Two Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes from Wild Chinese Grapevine

August 3, 2016

Chinese grape species have attracted the attention of breeders due to their resistance to powdery mildew caused by Erysiphe necator. Dániel Pap and Summaira Riaz of the University of California evaluated several Vitis piasezkii accessions for resistance to powdery mildew. The team then analyzed an F1 population of a cross between the susceptible Vitis vinifera and the resistant V. piasezkii DVIT2027.

Researchers identified two major powdery mildew resistance genes on chromosomes 9 (Ren6) and 19 (Ren7). Both loci operate by initiating programmed cell death, but differ significantly in response to speed and degree of resistance. Ren6 confers complete resistance while Ren7 confers only a partial resistance to the disease. A comparison of the resistance conferred by Ren6, Ren7 and Run1 gene from Muscadinia rotundifolia, revealed that the speed and strength of resistance from Ren6 is greater than that of Run1 which is then greater than that of Ren7.

The discovery of the loci in this study offers the potential to combine these with existing loci to develop more durable resistance against the powdery mildew.

For more on this study, read the full article in BMC Plant Biology.