Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Frontiers in plant science

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a popular leafy vegetable crop and commercial production is centered in California and Arizona in the US. The oomycete Peronospora effusa causes the most important disease in spinach, downy mildew. A total of nineteen races of P. effusa are known, with more than 15 documented in the last three decades, and the regular emergence of new races is continually overcoming the genetic resistance to the pathogen. This study aimed to finely map the downy mildew resistance locus RPF3 in spinach, identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers associated with the resistance, refine the candidate genes responsible for the resistance, and evaluate the prediction performance using multiple machine learning genomic prediction (GP) methods. Segregating progeny population developed from a cross of resistant cultivar Whale and susceptible cultivar Viroflay to race 5 of P. effusa was inoculated under greenhouse conditions to determine downy mildew disease response across the panel. The progeny panel and the parents were resequenced at low coverage (1x) to identify genome wide SNP markers. Association analysis was performed using disease response phenotype data and SNP markers in TASSEL, GAPIT, and GENESIS programs and mapped the race 5 resistance loci (RPF3) to 1.25 and 2.73 Mb of Monoe-Viroflay chromosome 3 with the associated SNP in the 1.25 Mb region was 0.9 Kb from the NBS-LRR gene SOV3g001250. The RPF3 locus in the 1.22-1.23 Mb region of Sp75 chromosome 3 is 2.41-3.65 Kb from the gene Spo12821 annotated as NBS-LRR disease resistance protein. This study extended our understanding of the genetic basis of downy mildew resistance in spinach cultivar Whale and mapped the RPF3 resistance loci close to the NBS-LRR gene providing a target to pursue functional validation. Three SNP markers efficiently selected resistance based on multiple genomic selection (GS) models. The results from this study have added new genomic resources, generated an informed basis of the RPF3 locus resistant to spinach downy mildew pathogen, and developed markers and prediction methods to select resistant lines.

Bhattarai Gehendra, Olaoye Dotun, Mou Beiquan, Correll James C, Shi Ainong


GWAS, breeding, candidate gene, disease resistance, downy mildew, mapping, oomycete, spinach