The potato late blight resistance gene R8 has been cloned. R8 is found in five late blight resistant varieties deployed in three different continents. R8 recognises Avr8 and is homologous to the NB-LRR protein Sw-5 from tomato. The broad spectrum late blight resistance gene R8 from Solanum demissum was cloned based on a previously published coarse map position on the lower arm of chromosome IX. Fine mapping in a recombinant population and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library screening resulted in a BAC contig spanning 170 kb of the R8 haplotype. Sequencing revealed a cluster of at least ten R gene analogues (RGAs). The seven RGAs in the genetic window were subcloned for complementation analysis. Only one RGA provided late blight resistance and caused recognition of Avr8. From these results, it was concluded that the newly cloned resistance gene was indeed R8. R8 encodes a typical intracellular immune receptor with an N-terminal coiled coil, a central nucleotide binding site and 13 C-terminal leucine rich repeats. Phylogenetic analysis of a set of representative Solanaceae R proteins shows that R8 resides in a clearly distinct clade together with the Sw-5 tospovirus R protein from tomato. It was found that the R8 gene is present in late blight resistant potato varieties from Europe (Sarpo Mira), USA (Jacqueline Lee, Missaukee) and China (PB-06, S-60). Indeed, when tested under field conditions, R8 transgenic potato plants showed broad spectrum resistance to the current late blight population in the Netherlands, similar to Sarpo Mira.
Journal: TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics