Molecular Breeding (2009) 24, 337-347

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A. Patocchi, A. Frei, J.E. Frey and M. Kellerhals (2009)
Towards improvement of marker assisted selection of apple scab resistant cultivars: Venturia inaequalis virulence surveys and standardization of molecular marker alleles associated with resistance genes
Molecular Breeding 24 (4), 337-347
Abstract: Molecular breeding for pathogen resistance faces two major problems that delay its widespread adoption, resistance breakdown and difficulties in unambiguously identifying the alleles of the markers associated with specific resistance genes. Since the breakdown of the Rvi6 (Vf) gene in the Northern part of Europe breeders have intensified the search for new resistance sources to be introduced into their breeding programs. Alternative major genes to Rvi6 are available (e.g. Rvi2, Rvi4, Rvi5, Rvi10; Rvi11, Rvi12, Rvi13, and Rvi15, respectively Vh2, Vh4, Vm, Va, Vbj, Vb, Vd, Vr2 according to the old apple scab resistance gene nomenclature) but, with few exceptions (i.e., Rvi4, Rvi5 and, Rvi13), they have so far not been incorporated in commercial varieties. Pyramiding, i.e., combining several of these major resistance genes (R-genes) in individual plants, is one of the most promising strategies currently available to develop apple cultivars with durable apple scab resistance. But, which genes are the best suited to produce such new cultivars? Although the most interesting genes are surely those whose resistance so far has not been broken by the pathogen, genes with resistance that has been overcome coupled with only limited spread of the virulence may also be used in the pyramiding process. However, obtaining information on whether an R-gene is overcome and if so, the extent of the spread of the virulence is difficult and time consuming. Furthermore, often such reports are not up-to-date and the correctness of the data is difficult to verify. To solve these problems, the initiative "Monitoring of Venturia inaequalis virulences" has been proposed. The monitoring is based on a network of orchards of selected differential hosts. Incidence and severity of scab on these genotypes will be collected yearly; and after validation, the data will be published through the homepage of the project ( Here, we present an outline of this initiative. A second major obstacle for broad adoption of marker assisted selection is the lack of tools to align marker analyzes performed in different laboratories to unambiguously identify the alleles linked to specific resistances. The identification of the alleles of the markers in coupling with the resistance genes is often very difficult, if the same genotype used to develop the markers is not simultaneously analyzed. In this paper we present an approach to standardize the size of the alleles in coupling with the resistance genes, using easily accessible cultivars. The proposed procedure has been applied to selected markers for the apple scab resistance genes Rvi2, Rvi4, Rvi5, Rvi6, Rvi11, Rvi12, Rvi13, Rvi14 and Rvi15 (respectively Vh2, Vh4, Vm, Vf, Vbj, Vb, Vd, Rvi14 and Vr2 according to the old nomenclature).
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Andrea Patocchi, Jürg E. Frey

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
molecular biology - genes
resistance/tolerance/defence of host

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Venturia inaequalis