First and fourth authors: Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, The University of Tokyo, 113-8657 Japan; and second and third authors: Crop Nematode Laboratory, Department of Plant Protection, National Agriculture Research Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8666, Japan
Root-knot nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne are economically important pathogens of a wide range of crops. The tomato resistance gene Mi typically confers resistance to the three major species, M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. However, virulent populations completely overcoming the Mi resistance still occur. In an attempt to develop molecular markers for virulence against Mi and gain insights into the genetic relationships among virulent populations of different species and origins, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses of laboratory-selected virulent, field virulent, and avirulent populations of M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria were carried out. A RAPD marker, specific for selected virulent populations, was identified, and subsequently, converted to a sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR). Sequence characterization of the SCAR locus showed that alleles from laboratory- and field-selected virulent populations were highly similar to each other and clearly different from alleles from natural virulent and avirulent populations. This result suggests that the genetic mechanism for virulence against Mi may be similar among selected virulent populations of the three Meloidogyne spp., but different between selected and natural virulent populations. Based on the nucleotide polymorphisms at the SCAR locus, codominant and dominant polymerase chain reaction-based markers were developed enabling rapid diagnosis of selected virulent genotypes in M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria.