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Natural Genetic Resources of Arabidopsis thaliana Reveal a High Prevalence and Unexpected Phenotypic Plasticity of RPW8-Mediated Powdery Mildew Resistance

Katharina Göllner, Patrick Schweizer, Yuling Bai and Ralph Panstruga
The New Phytologist
Vol. 177, No. 3 (2008), pp. 725-742
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30142267
Page Count: 18
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Abstract

Here, an approach based on natural genetic variation was adopted to analyse powdery mildew resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Accessions resistant to multiple powdery mildew species were crossed with the susceptible Col-0 ecotype and inheritance of resistance was analysed. Histochemical staining was used to visualize archetypal plant defence responses such as callose deposition, hydrogen peroxide accumulation and host cell death in a subset of these ecotypes. In six accessions, resistance was likely of polygenic origin while 10 accessions exhibited evidence for a single recessively or semi-dominantly inherited resistance locus. Resistance in the latter accessions was mainly manifested at the terminal stage of the fungal life cycle by a failure of abundant conidiophore production. The resistance locus of several of these ecotypes was mapped to a genomic region containing the previously analysed atypical RPW8 powdery mildew resistance genes. Gene silencing revealed that members of the RPW8 locus were responsible for resistance to Golovinomyces orontii in seven accessions. These results suggest that broad-spectrum powdery mildew resistance in A. thaliana is predominantly of polygenic origin or based on RPW8 function. The findings shed new light on the natural variation of inheritance, phenotypic expression and pathogen range of RPW8-conditioned powdery mildew resistance.

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