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Pyramiding B Genes in Cotton Achieves Broader But Not Always Higher Resistance to Bacterial Blight

October 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  10
Pages  1,088 - 1,097

Margaret Essenberg, Melanie B. Bayles, Margaret L. Pierce, and Laval M. Verhalen

First and third authors: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; second and fourth authors: Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078.

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Accepted for publication 5 March 2014.

Near-isogenic lines of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) carrying single, race-specific genes B4, BIn, and b7 for resistance to bacterial blight were used to develop a pyramid of lines with all possible combinations of two and three genes to learn whether the pyramid could achieve broad and high resistance approaching that of L. A. Brinkerhoff's exceptional line Im216. Isogenic strains of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. malvacearum carrying single avirulence (avr) genes were used to identify plants carrying specific resistance (B) genes. Under field conditions in north-central Oklahoma, pyramid lines exhibited broader resistance to individual races and, consequently, higher resistance to a race mixture. It was predicted that lines carrying two or three B genes would also exhibit higher resistance to race 1, which possesses many avr genes. Although some enhancements were observed, they did not approach the level of resistance of Im216. In a growth chamber, bacterial populations attained by race 1 in and on leaves of the pyramid lines decreased significantly with increasing number of B genes in only one of four experiments. The older lines, Im216 and AcHR, exhibited considerably lower bacterial populations than any of the one-, two-, or three-B-gene lines. A spreading collapse of spray-inoculated AcBIn and AcBInb7 leaves appears to be a defense response (conditioned by BIn) that is out of control.

Additional keywords: durable resistance, hypersensitive response, leaf surface, race-change mutant, runaway cell death, X. campestris pv. malvacearum, X. citri pv. malvacearum.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society