Laboratory of Plant Breeding, Wageningen University, PO Box 386, 6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands
Tomato powdery mildew caused by Oidium neolycopersici has become a globally important disease of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). To study the defense responses of tomato triggered by tomato powdery mildew, we first mapped a set of resistance genes to O. neolycopersici from related Lycopersicon species. An integrated genetic map was generated showing that all the dominant resistance genes (Ol-1, Ol-3, Ol-4, Ol-5, and Ol-6) are located on tomato chromosome 6 and are organized in three genetic loci. Then, near-isogenic lines (NIL) were produced that contain the different dominant Ol genes in a L. esculentum genetic background. These NIL were used in disease tests with local isolates of O. neolycopersici in different geographic locations, demonstrating that the resistance conferred by different Ol genes was isolate-dependent and, hence, may be race-specific. In addition, the resistance mechanism was analyzed histologically. The mechanism of resistance conferred by the dominant Ol genes was associated with hypersensitive respo-nse, which varies in details depending on the Ol-gene in the NIL, while the mechanism of resistance governed by the recessive gene ol-2 on tomato chromosome 4 was associated with papillae formation.