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Molecular markers for improving control of soil-borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum in sugar beet

De Lucchi, Chiara, Stevanato, Piergiorgio, Hanson, Linda, McGrath, Mitch, Panella, Lee, De Biaggi, Marco, Broccanello, Chiara, Bertaggia, Marco, Sella, Luca, Concheri, Giuseppe
Euphytica 2017 v.213 no.3 pp. 71
Fusarium oxysporum, crops, genes, genetic markers, introgression, marker-assisted selection, melting, pathogens, plant breeding, polymerase chain reaction, single nucleotide polymorphism, soil-borne diseases, sugar beet, sugars
Fusarium spp. cause severe damage in many agricultural crops, including sugar beet, with Fusarium oxysporum historically being considered as the most damaging of all species. Sugar beet needs to be protected from this class of soil-borne pathogens in order to ensure an optimal sugar yield in the field. Genetic control of the disease is crucial in managing these pathogens. Identification of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers linked to resistance can be a powerful tool for the introgression of valuable genes needed to develop Fusarium-resistant varieties. A candidate gene approach was carried out to identify SNP markers linked to putative Fusarium resistance sources in sugar beet. Five resistant analogue genes (RGAs) were screened by means of high resolution melting (HRM) analysis in a set of sugar beet lines, considered as resistant and susceptible to Fusarium oxysporum. HRM polymorphisms were observed in 80% of amplicons. Two HRM polymorphisms were significantly associated with Fusarium resistance (P < 0.05). The amplicons that showed association were sequenced and two SNPs were identified. The association was further validated on 96 susceptible and 96 resistant plants using competitive allele-specific PCR (KASPar) technology. The selected SNPs could be used for marker-assisted breeding of Fusarium resistance in sugar beet.