Comparative Association Mapping Reveals Conservation of Major Gene Resistance to White Pine Blister Rust in Southwestern White Pine (Pinus strobiformis) and Limber Pine (P. flexilis)

Jun Jun Liu, Anna W. Schoettle, Richard A. Sniezko, Kristen M. Waring, Holly Williams, Arezoo Zamany, Jeremy S. Johnson, Angelia Kegley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

All native North American white pines are highly susceptible to white pine blister rust (WPBR) caused by Cronartium ribicola. Understanding genomic diversity and molecular mechanisms underlying genetic resistance to WPBR remains one of the great challenges in improvement of white pines. To compare major gene resistance (MGR) present in two species, southwestern white pine (Pinus strobiformis) Cr3 and limber pine (P. flexilis) Cr4, we performed association analyses of Cr3-controlled resistant traits using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays designed with Cr4-linked polymorphic genes. We found that ~70% of P. flexilis SNPs were transferable to P. strobiformis. Furthermore, several Cr4-linked SNPs were significantly associated with the Cr3-controlled traits in P. strobiformis families. The most significantly associated SNP (M326511_1126R) almost colocalized with Cr4 on the Pinus consensus linkage group 8, suggesting that Cr3 and Cr4 might be the same R locus, or have localizations very close to each other in the syntenic region of the P. strobiformis and P. flexilis genomes. M326511_1126R was identified as a nonsynonymous SNP, causing amino acid change (Val376Ile) in a putative pectin acetylesterase, with coding sequences identical between the two species. Moreover, top Cr3-associated SNPs were further developed as TaqMan genotyping assays, suggesting their usefulness as marker-assisted selection (MAS) tools to distinguish genotypes between quantitative resistance and MGR. This work demonstrates the successful transferability of SNP markers between two closely related white pine species in the hybrid zone, and the possibility for deployment of MAS tools to facilitate long-term WPBR management in P. strobiformis breeding and conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1102
Number of pages10
JournalPhytopathology
Volume112
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • association mapping
  • Cronartium ribicola
  • cross-species transferability of DNA markers
  • disease resistance
  • forest pathology
  • limber pine (Pinus flexilis)
  • major gene resistance
  • marker-assisted selection
  • quantitative resistance
  • single nucleotide polymorphisms
  • southwestern white pine (P. strobiformis)
  • white pine blister rust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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