Identification of resistance loci in Chinese and Canadian canola/rapeseed varieties against Leptosphaeria maculans based on genome-wide association studies
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Abstract Background The fungal pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans (Lm). causes blackleg disease on canola/rapeseed in many parts of the world. It is important to use resistant cultivars to manage the disease and minimize yield losses. In this study, twenty-two Lm isolates were used to identify resistance genes in a collection of 243 canola/rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) accessions from Canada and China. These Lm isolates carry different compliments of avirulence genes, and the investigation was based on a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and genotype-by-sequencing (GBS). Results Using the CROP-SNP pipeline, a total of 81,471 variants, including 78,632 SNPs and 2839 InDels, were identified. The GWAS was performed using TASSEL 5.0 with GLM + Q model. Thirty-two and 13 SNPs were identified from the Canadian and Chinese accessions, respectively, tightly associated with blackleg resistance with P values < 1 × 10− 4. These SNP loci were distributed on chromosomes A03, A05, A08, A09, C01, C04, C05, and C07, with the majority of them on A08 followed by A09 and A03. The significant SNPs identified on A08 were all located in a 2010-kb region and associated with resistance to 12 of the 22 Lm isolates. Furthermore, 25 resistance gene analogues (RGAs) were identified in these regions, including two nucleotide binding site (NBS) domain proteins, fourteen RLKs, three RLPs and six TM-CCs. These RGAs can be the potential candidate genes for blackleg resistance. Conclusion This study provides insights into potentially new genomic regions for discovery of additional blackleg resistance genes. The identified regions associated with blackleg resistance in the germplasm collection may also contribute directly to the development of canola varieties with novel resistance genes against blackleg of canola.