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Apple Contains Receptor-like Genes Homologous to the Cladosporium fulvum Resistance Gene Family of Tomato with a Cluster of Genes Cosegregating with Vf Apple Scab Resistance

April 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  4
Pages  508 - 515

Boris A. Vinatzer , 1 Andrea Patocchi , 2 Luca Gianfranceschi , 2 Stefano Tartarini , 1 Hong-Bin Zhang , 3 Cesare Gessler , 2 and Silviero Sansavini 1

1Dipartimento di Colture Arboree, Via Filippo Re 6, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy; 2Plant Pathology Group, Institute of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Univerisitaetstrasse 2, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland; 3Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station 77840, U.S.A.

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Accepted 20 December 2000.

Scab caused by the fungal pathogen Venturia inaequalis is the most common disease of cultivated apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.). Monogenic resistance against scab is found in some small-fruited wild Malus species and has been used in apple breeding for scab resistance. Vf resistance of Malus floribunda 821 is the most widely used scab resistance source. Because breeding a high-quality cultivar in perennial fruit trees takes dozens of years, cloning disease resistance genes and using them in the transformation of high-quality apple varieties would be advantageous. We report the identification of a cluster of receptor-like genes with homology to the Cladosporium fulvum (Cf) resistance gene family of tomato on bacterial artificial chromosome clones derived from the Vf scab resistance locus. Three members of the cluster were sequenced completely. Similar to the Cf gene family of tomato, the deduced amino acid sequences coded by these genes contain an extracellular leucine-rich repeat domain and a transmembrane domain. The transcription of three members of the cluster was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to be constitutive, and the transcription and translation start of one member was verified by 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends. We discuss the parallels between Cf resistance of tomato and Vf resistance of apple and the possibility that one of the members of the gene cluster is the Vf gene. Cf homologs from other regions of the apple genome also were identified and are likely to present other scab resistance genes.

Additional keyword: durable resistance.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society