Apple scab caused by Venturia inaequalis is the most important fungal disease of apples (Malus × domestica). Currently, the disease is controlled by up to 15 fungicide applications to the crop per year. Resistant apple cultivars will help promote the sustainable control of scab in commercial orchards. The breakdown of the Rvi6 (Vf) major-gene based resistance, the most used resistance gene in apple breeding, prompted the identification and characterization of new scab resistance genes. By using a large segregating population, the Rvi12 scab resistance gene was previously mapped to a genetic location flanked by molecular markers SNP_23.599 and SNP_24.482. Starting from these markers, utilizing chromosome walking of a Hansen’s baccata #2 (HB2) BAC-library; a single BAC clone spanning the Rvi12 interval was identified. Following Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) RS II sequencing and the use of the hierarchical genome assembly process (HGAP) assembly of the BAC clone sequence, the Rvi12 resistance locus was localized to a 62.3-kb genomic region. Gene prediction and in silico characterization identified a single candidate resistance gene. The gene, named here as Rvi12_Cd5, belongs to the LRR receptor-like serine/threonine-protein kinase family. In silico comparison of the resistance allele from HB2 and the susceptible allele from Golden Delicious (GD) identified the presence of an additional intron in the HB2 allele. Conserved domain analysis identified the presence of four additional LRR motifs in the susceptible allele compared to the resistance allele. The constitutive expression of Rvi12_Cd5 in HB2, together with its structural similarity to known resistance genes, makes it the most likely candidate for Rvi12 scab resistance in apple.
Journal: Molecular breeding