BackgroundGrapevine powdery mildew Erysiphe necator is a major fungal disease in all grape growing countries worldwide. Breeding for resistance to this disease is crucial to avoid extensive fungicide applications that are costly, labor intensive and may have detrimental effects on the environment. In the past decade, Chinese Vitis species have attracted attention from grape breeders because of their strong resistance to powdery mildew and their lack of negative fruit quality attributes that are often present in resistant North American species. In this study, we investigated powdery mildew resistance in multiple accessions of the Chinese species Vitis piasezkii that were collected during the 1980 Sino-American botanical expedition to the western Hubei province of China.
ResultsA framework genetic map was developed using simple sequence repeat markers in 277 seedlings of an F1 mapping population arising from a cross of the powdery mildew susceptible Vitis vinifera selection F2-35 and a resistant accession of V. piasezkii DVIT2027. Quantitative trait locus analyses identified two major powdery mildew resistance loci on chromosome 9 (Ren6) and chromosome 19 (Ren7) explaining 74.8 % of the cumulative phenotypic variation. The quantitative trait locus analysis for each locus, in the absence of the other, explained 95.4 % phenotypic variation for Ren6, while Ren7 accounted for 71.9 % of the phenotypic variation. Screening of an additional 259 seedlings of the F1 population and 910 seedlings from four pseudo-backcross populations with SSR markers defined regions of 22 kb and 330 kb for Ren6 and Ren7 in the V. vinifera PN40024 (12X) genome sequence, respectively. Both R loci operate post-penetration through the induction of programmed cell death, but vary significantly in the speed of response and degree of resistance; Ren6 confers complete resistance whereas Ren7 confers partial resistance to the disease with reduced colony size. A comparison of the kinetics of induction of powdery mildew resistance mediated by Ren6, Ren7 and the Run1 locus from Muscadinia rotundifolia, indicated that the speed and strength of resistance conferred by Ren6 is greater than that of Run1 which, in turn, is superior to that conferred by Ren7.
ConclusionsThis is the first report of mapping powdery mildew resistance in the Chinese species V. piasezkii. Two distinct powdery mildew R loci designated Ren6 and Ren7 were found in multiple accessions of this Chinese grape species. Their location on different chromosomes to previously reported powdery mildew resistance R loci offers the potential for grape breeders to combine these R genes with existing powdery mildew R loci to produce grape germplasm with more durable resistance against this rapidly evolving fungal pathogen.