The dagger nematode, Xiphinema
index, feeds aggressively on grape roots and in the process, vectors grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) leading to the severe viral disease known as fanleaf degeneration. Resistance to X. index and GFLV has been the key objective of grape rootstock breeding programs. A previous study found that resistance to X. index derived from Vitis arizonica was largely controlled by a major quantitative trait locus, XiR1 (X. index Resistance 1), located on chromosome 19. The study presented here develops high-resolution genetic and physical maps in an effort to identify the XiR1 gene(s). The mapping was carried out with 1,375 genotypes in three populations derived from D8909-15, a resistant selection from a cross of V. rupestris A. de Serres (susceptible) × V. arizonica b42-26 (resistant). Resistance to X. index was evaluated on 99 informative recombinants that were identified by screening the three populations with two markers flanking the XiR1 locus. The high-resolution genetic map of XiR1 was primarily constructed with seven DNA markers developed in this study. Physical mapping of XiR1 was accomplished by screening three bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries constructed from D8909-15, V. vinifera Cabernet Sauvignon and V. arizonica b42-26. A total of 32 BAC clones were identified and the XiR1 locus was delineated within a 115 kb region. Sequence analysis of three BAC clones identified putative nucleotide binding/leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) genes. This is the first report of a closely linked major gene locus responsible for ectoparasitic nematode resistance. The markers developed from this study are being used to expedite the breeding of resistant grape rootstocks.