|Identification of disease resistance genes for enhancement of existing potato cultivars|
D. HALTERMAN (1). (1) USDA/ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Madison, WI, U.S.A.
A plant’s ability to defend itself against host-specific microbes is specified by disease resistance (<i>R</i>) genes. Upon recognition of an invading pathogen, R proteins are responsible for the activation of a multitude of responses ultimately leading to resistance. The majority of <i>R</i> genes are dominant and can be identified using germplasm screening techniques. Genes that condition resistance to many economically important potato diseases, such as <i>Phytophthora infestans</i>, <i>Verticllium dahliae</i>, and Potato Virus Y, have been identified. Genetic markers closely associated with <i>R</i> genes are useful for breeding new cultivars with increased resistance. Equally useful is the identification and isolation of the <i>R</i> genes for use in characterization of the resistance response, precision marker development, and stable incorporation of the genes into existing popular cultivars. This talk will include recent research results that are being directed towards the identification of major <i>R </i>genes and the prospects for their utilization in potato breeding.