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Bru1 gene and potential alternative sources of resistance to sugarcane brown rust disease

Racedo J., Perera M.F., Bertani R., Funes C., González V., Cuenya M.I., D'Hont A., Welin B., Castagnaro A.P.. 2013. Euphytica, 191 (3) : p. 429-436.

DOI: 10.1007/s10681-013-0905-3

Brown rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia melanocephala, is responsible for important yield losses in sugarcane production globally and it is therefore an important objective to introduce resistance to this disease in breeding programs. A major gene, Bru1, has been shown to confer resistance to P. melanocephala strains from different parts of the world and two molecular markers, R12H16 and 9O20- F4, closely associated to this gene have been previously reported. The usefulness of these molecular diagnostic markers in order to predict a rust resistant phenotype under natural high pressure inoculums conditions was analyzed. A total of 129 sugarcane accessions were evaluated under field infection for resistance or susceptibility to brown rust and subsequently screened for presence or absence of the two Bru1 diagnostic markers. A total of 49 genotypes (38 %) were phenotyped as resistant to brown rust but only eight (16.3 %) of them were harboring the Bru1 gene. To determine overall frequency of the Bru1 in the local sugarcane germplasm collection, 190 additional genotypes were examined. Presence of Bru1, as determined by the diagnostic markers, was detected in only 7 % of the genotypes evaluated. In conclusion, Bru1 diagnostic markers enable positive selection for brown rust resistance in sugarcane and moreover allowed detecting at least one additional source(s) of resistance. Interestingly, whilst only little genetic variability of rust resistance independent of Bru1 has been reported previously, this alternative genetic resource(s) found in our local germplasm constitutes the predominant one and should be helpful in order to amplify the narrow genetic basis for brown rust resistance in sugarcane.

Mots-clés : saccharum officinarum; puccinia melanocephala; résistance aux maladies; résistance génétique; gène; génétique moléculaire; marqueur génétique; argentine

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