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POSTERS: Genetics of resistance

Evaluation of resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum in blueberry and identification of functional resistance genes
Ana Maria Bocsanczy - University of Florida MREC. Juliana Benevenuto- University of Florida, Patricio Munoz- University of Florida, David Norman- University of Florida MREC, Crystal Conner- University of Florida MREC

Florida blueberry production is expanding rapidly due to the development of low chill varieties. An emerging blueberry disease, bacterial wilt, caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, was identified throughout the state, threatening blueberry production. Discovery of resistance genes (R-genes) in blueberry species will assist the development of resistant varieties, which is the most effective method to control bacterial wilt. In this study, 18 blueberry genotypes including highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) and rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) species were screened for resistance to three different populations of R. solanacearum isolated from diseased blueberry fields in Florida. V. corymbosum ‘Arcadia’ (susceptible) and V. ashei 15-506ASH (resistant) genomes, were sequenced using Illumina HiSeq X Ten platform, and were assembled and annotated predicting 118,772 and 87,512 ORFs, respectively. Using a known set of 106 R-gene sequences to build a profile and scan the genomes using a Hidden Markov Model software, we predicted 483 and 453 candidate R-genes respectively. A preliminary phylogenetic placement of candidate R-genes identified at least five families. Currently, we are testing protocols for RNA-seq with the long-read MinION™ sequencing platform with the ultimate goal of discovering functional R-genes against bacterial wilt. In silico predicted R-genes will be used to increase the catalog of R-genes in blueberry and to design R-gene oligos for enrichment sequencing (RenSeq).