Texas Agriculture Experimental Station, Amarillo
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Accepted for publication 12 October 2006.
Genetic resistance in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) to Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), which causes the disease rhizomania, is conferred by the single dominant gene Rz1. However, since 2002, Rz1 cultivars grown in the Imperial Valley of California have been increasingly damaged by a new strain of BNYVV. Viral RNA 3 was extracted from asymptomatic and symptomatic sugar beets and, after amplification and sequencing of a region including the p25 cistron, two polymorphic sites, A67V and D135E, associated with the capability of the virus to overcome resistance were identified. Using the real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction allelic discrimination technique, TaqMan probes designed to detect the responsible nucleotide substitutions permitted the differentiation between wild type (WT) and resistance-breaking (RB) isolates. This method also allowed easy detection of mixed infections by giving a heterozygous call, which was verified by DNA sequencing of individual clones. The capability of this technology to typify numerous isolates facilitated the analysis of the spatial distribution of virus haplotypes in the field. Thus, RB variants were mostly baited from yellow strips with high incidence of rhizomania, whereas WT variants predominated in the surrounding green areas. Mixed infections were found mainly in green areas and transitional zones. The predominance of the RB isolates in yellow strips suggests that they have gained fitness in Rz1 cultivars and will eventually become the dominant haplotype.
© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society