Pathogen lifestyle determines host genetic signature of quantitative disease resistance loci in oilseed rape ( Brassica napus )

Catherine N. Jacott, Henk-jan Schoonbeek, Gurpinder Singh Sidhu, Burkhard Steuernagel, Rachel Kirby, Xiaorong Zheng, Andreas von Tiedermann, Violetta K. Macioszek, Andrzej K. Kononowicz, Heather Fell, Bruce D. L. Fitt, Georgia K. Mitrousia, Henrik U. Stotz, Christopher J. Ridout, Rachel Wells

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Using associative transcriptomics, our study identifies genes conferring resistance to four diverse fungal pathogens in crops, emphasizing key genetic determinants of multi-pathogen resistance. Crops are affected by several pathogens, but these are rarely studied in parallel to identify common and unique genetic factors controlling diseases. Broad-spectrum quantitative disease resistance (QDR) is desirable for crop breeding as it confers resistance to several pathogen species. Here, we use associative transcriptomics (AT) to identify candidate gene loci associated with Brassica napus constitutive QDR to four contrasting fungal pathogens: Alternaria brassicicola, Botrytis cinerea, Pyrenopeziza brassicae, and Verticillium longisporum. We did not identify any shared loci associated with broad-spectrum QDR to fungal pathogens with contrasting lifestyles. Instead, we observed QDR dependent on the lifestyle of the pathogen-hemibiotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens had distinct QDR responses and associated loci, including some loci associated with early immunity. Furthermore, we identify a genomic deletion associated with resistance to V. longisporum and potentially broad-spectrum QDR. This is the first time AT has been used for several pathosystems simultaneously to identify host genetic loci involved in broad-spectrum QDR. We highlight constitutive expressed candidate loci for broad-spectrum QDR with no antagonistic effects on susceptibility to the other pathogens studies as candidates for crop breeding. In conclusion, this study represents an advancement in our understanding of broad-spectrum QDR in B. napus and is a significant resource for the scientific community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics (TAG)
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2024


  • Brassica napus/genetics
  • Disease Resistance/genetics
  • Plant Breeding


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