Thesis: Identification of novel resistance genes towards Leptoshaeria maculans in wild Brassicaceae species
Blackleg is a serious disease to Brassica cultivation worldwide. According to the gene-for-gene theory, particular resistance (R) genes carried by plants will interact with corresponding Avr genes in L. maculans, inducing the resistance response. Several blackleg resistance genes have been found in Brassica cultivars. Some of the wild species in the Brassicaceae also exhibit resistance towards blackleg, which can help extend resistance resources in Brassica cultivars through genetic introgression. However, the resistance genes in those wild species remain unknown. In this project, we aim to identify resistance genes in a series of wild species.
Why my research is important
The continuous sowing of elite cultivars with the same blackleg resistance genes will add more selection pressure to L. maculans, resulting in the rapid adaption and evolution of the fungi. As a result, resistance may break down and cultivars will get infected, causing significant economic loss. This condition highlights the importance of an extensive breeding resource from which canola cultivars can get a variety of blackleg resistance genes.