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Genetic dissection of disease resistance to Phoma medicaginis in Medicago truncatula

Kamphuis, Lars Gian (2007) Genetic dissection of disease resistance to Phoma medicaginis in Medicago truncatula. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Phoma medicaginis is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen, commonly found infecting Medicago truncatula and M. sativa in temperate regions of Australia. To identify, characterize and differentiate eight P. medicaginis isolates from Western Australia, morphological phenotypes and five gene regions (actin, beta-tubulin, calmodulin, internal transcribed spacer, translation elongation factor 1-alpha) were examined. Sequence comparisons showed that specimens isolated from M. truncatula in Western Australia formed a group that was consistently different from, but closely allied to, a P. medicaginis var. medicaginis type specimen.

Characterization of three P. medicaginis genotypes showed that all exhibited a narrow host range, causing disease only in M. sativa and M. truncatula among eight commonly cultivated legume species sampled. Infection of 85 M. truncatula accessions showed a continuous distribution in disease phenotypes, with the majority of accessions susceptible. Differences in disease phenotypes suggest that M. truncatula harbours specific and diverse sources of resistance to individual P. medicaginis genotypes.

To characterize the genetic basis of resistance to P. medicaginis two F2 populations derived from crosses between the resistant accession SA27063 and the susceptible accessions SA3054 and A17 were phenotyped for disease symptoms. Highly significant recessive QTLs for resistance to P. medicaginis OMT5 were identified in each mapping population. In SA27063 x A17 a QTL named resistance to the necrotroph Phoma medicaginis one (rnpm1) was identified on the short arm of LG4. In SA27063 x SA3054 a QTL (rnpm2) was identified on the long arm of LG8. Further fine mapping of the areas surrounding the QTLs is underway to identify the genes underlying rnpm1 and rnpm2.

Examination of the recombination frequencies between genetic markers on the long arms of chromosomes 4 and 8 in the SA27063 x A17 cross revealed an apparent genetic linkage between these chromosomes. Subsequent analysis of other crosses showed this unexpected linkage relationship is characteristic for genetic maps derived from A17. Furthermore F1 individuals derived from crosses involving A17 showed 50% pollen viability or less. This semisterility and the unexpected linkage relationships provide good evidence for a reciprocal translocation in A17 between chromosomes four and eight. The implications of the distinctive chromosomal rearrangement in A17 on genetic mapping, genome sequencing and comparative mapping are discussed.

The Mt16kOLI1plus microarray was used to identify transcriptional changes in M. truncatula expressed in defence against P. medicaginis. Three-hundred-and-thirty-four differentially expressed transcripts showed a change of two-fold or more in either the resistant or susceptible interaction, and most of the Phoma-regulated genes could be assigned to functional categories which have been reported to be involved in plant defence responses. RT-qPCR and HPLCUV confirmed involvement of the octadecanoid and phenylpropanoid pathways in response to P. medicaginis infection. Faster induction of lipoxygenase genes and constitutively higher levels of certain phenolic metabolites were observed in resistant plants.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Supervisor(s): Oliver, Richard
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