BBSRC CASE studentship: Understanding resistance to light leaf spot to limit resistance breakdown and sustain oilseed rape gross margins

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted


This project will use a mapping population of doubled haploid (DH) lines (produced by KWS UK Ltd.) segregating for resistance to Pyrenopeziza brassicae. The resistance gene(s) present in the mapping population will be mapped and studied. Microsatellite markers will be used to genetically map the doubled haploid population and plants will be grown and inoculated under controlled environment conditions to assess their disease resistance phenotype. These data, together with an improved knowledge of synteny between Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus genomes, will be used to map the resistance locus/loci and identify candidate resistance genes. New techniques have been developed at Rothamsted to investigate host-pathogen interactions and to discriminate between different types of resistance operating in different lines and tissues of oilseed rape. These techniques include quantitative PCR (qPCR), which enables the amount of pathogen DNA in tissue to be quantified and its rate of growth and location to be assessed and genetic transformation of fungal isolates with reporter genes such as GFP to enable the pathogen to be seen by fluorescence in live leaf tissue (Eckert et al., 2005). These new techniques and new KWS UK Ltd. lines will be used to understand the resistance of oilseed rape to P. brassicae and the symptomless growth of the pathogen. During the project, P. brassicae isolates may be transformed with fluorescent reporter genes and used to visualise the effects of resistance on in planta growth.


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