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Analysis of Molecular Markers Genetically Linked to the Leptosphaeria maculans Avirulence Gene AvrLm1 in Field Populations Indicates a Highly Conserved Event Leading to Virulence on Rlm1 Genotypes

July 2002 , Volume 15 , Number  7
Pages  672 - 682

Agnès Attard , 1 Lilian Gout , 1 Mathieu Gourgues , 1 Marie-Line Kühn , 1 Jacques Schmit , 1 Sandrine Laroche , 1 Delphine Ansan-Melayah , 1 Alain Billault , 2 Laurence Cattolico , 3 Marie-Hélène Balesdent , 1 and Thierry Rouxel 1

1Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique, Pathologie Végétale, Route de Saint Cyr, F-78026 Versailles Cedex, France; 2Molecular Engines Laboratories, 20, rue Bouvier, 75011 Paris, France; 3Genoscope-Centre National de Séquençage, 2, rue Gaston Crémieux, 91057 Evry cedex, France


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Accepted 12 March 2002.

Map-based cloning of the avirulence gene AvrLm1 of Leptosphaeria maculans was initiated utilizing a genetic map of the fungus and a BAC library constructed from an AvrLm1 isolate. Seven polymorphic DNA markers closely linked to AvrLm1 were identified. Of these, two were shown to border the locus on its 5′ end and were present, with size polymorphism, in both the virulent and the avirulent isolates. In contrast, three markers, J19-1.1, J53-1.3 (in coupling phase with avirulence), and Vir1 (in repulsion phase with avirulence), cosegregated with AvrLm1 in 312 progeny from five in vitro crosses. J19-1.1 and J53-1.3 were never amplified in the virulent parents or progeny, whereas Vir1 was never amplified in the avirulent parents or progeny. J19-1.1 and J53-1.3 were shown to be separated by 40 kb within a 184-kb BAC contig. In addition, the 1.6-cM genetic distance between J53-1.3 and the nearest recombinant marker corresponded to a 121-kb physical distance. When analyzing a European Union-wide collection of 192 isolates, J53-1.3, J19-1.1, and Vir1 were found to be closely associated with the AvrLm1 locus. The results of polymerase chain reaction amplification with primers for the three markers were in accordance with the interaction phenotype for 92.2% (J53-1.3), 90.6% (J19-1.1), and 88.0% (Vir1) of the isolates. In addition, genome organization of the AvrLm1 region was highly conserved in field isolates, because 89.1% of the avirulent isolates and 79.0% of the virulent isolates showed the same association of markers as that of the parents of in vitro crosses. The large-scale analysis of field isolates with markers originating from the genetic map therefore confirms (i) the physical proximity between the markers and the target locus and (ii) that AvrLm1 is located in (or close to) a recombination-deficient genome region. As a consequence, map-based markers provided us with high-quality markers for an overview of the occurrence of race “AvrLm1” at the field scale. These data were used to propose hypotheses on evolution towards virulence in field isolates.


Additional keywords: Brassica napus , gene-for-gene interaction , LMR1 , Phoma lingam , resistance , repeated elements .

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society