BMC plant biology 2017 11 0317(1) 192 doi 10.1186/s12870-017-1117-0
Plum pox virus (PPV), agent of Sharka disease, is the most important quarantine pathogen of peach (P. persica L. Batsch). Extensive evaluation of peach germplasm has highlighted the lack of resistant sources, while suggesting the presence of a quantitative disease resistance, expressed as reduction in the intensity of symptoms. Unravelling the genetic architecture of peach response to PPV infection is essential for pyramiding resistant genes and for developing more tolerant varieties. For this purpose, a genome-wide association (GWA) approach was applied in a panel of accessions phenotyped for virus susceptibility and genotyped with the IPSC peach 9 K SNP Array, and coupled with an high-coverage resequencing of the tolerant accession ‘Kamarat’.
Genome-wide association identified three highly significant associated loci on chromosome 2 and 3, accounting for most of the reduction in PPV-M susceptibility within the analysed peach population. The exploration of associated intervals through whole-genome comparison of the tolerant accession ‘Kamarat’ and other susceptible accessions, including the PPV-resistant wild-related species P. davidiana, allow the identification of allelic variants in promising candidate genes, including an RTM2-like gene already characterized in A. thaliana.
The present study is the first effort to identify genetic factors involved in Sharka disease in peach germplasm through a GWA approach. We provide evidence of the presence of quantitative resistant loci in a collection of peach accessions, identifying major loci and highly informative SNPs that could be useful for marker assisted selection. These results could serve as reference bases for future research aimed at the comprehension of genetic mechanism regulating the complex peach-PPV interaction.