QTL mapping of fire blight resistance in apple
Fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora is a severe threat to apple and pear orchards worldwide. Apple varieties exhibit a wide range of relative susceptibility/tolerance to fire blight. Although, no monogenic resistance against fire blight has been identified yet, recent evidence indicates the existence of quantitative resistance. Potential sources of fire blight resistance include several wild Malus species and some apple cultivars. F1 progenies of ‘Fiesta’×‘Discovery’ were inoculated with the Swiss strain Ea 610 and studied under controlled conditions to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for fire blight resistance. Disease was evaluated at four time points after inoculation. Shoot lesion length and the area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) values were used for QTL analysis. One significant (LOD score of 7.5–8.1, p<0.001) QTL was identified on the linkage group 7 of ‘Fiesta’ (F7). The F7 QTL explained about 37.5–38.6% of the phenotypic variation.
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