Identification of leaf spot resistant genes in peanuts utilizing high-throughput RNA sequencing technology and disease association


Auburn University

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Southeast (GA, FL, AL)

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Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important food and oilseed crop worldwide. Yield and quality can be significantly reduced by foliar fungal diseases, such as early and late leaf spot diseases. Acceptable levels of leaf spot resistance in cultivated peanut have been elusive due to environmental interactions and the proper combination of QTLs in any particular peanut genotype. Resistance gene analogs, as potential resistance (R)-genes, have unique roles in the recognition and activation of disease resistance responses. Novel R-genes can be identified by searches for conserved domains such as nucleotide binding site, leucine rich repeat, receptor like kinase, and receptor like protein from expressed genes or through genomic sequences. Expressed R-genes represent necessary plant signals in a disease response. The goals of this research are to identify expressed R-genes from cultivated peanuts that are naturally infected by early and late spot pathogens, compare these to the closest diploid progenitors, and evaluate specific gene expression in cultivated peanuts. Putative peanut R-genes (381) were available from a public database (NCBI). Primers were designed and PCR products were sequenced. A total of 214 sequences were produced which matched to proteins with the corresponding R-gene motifs. These R-genes were mapped to the genome sequences of Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, which are the closest diploid progenitors for tetraploid cultivated peanut, A. hypogaea. Identification and association of specific gene-expression will elucidate potential disease resistance mechanism in peanut and may facilitate the selection of breeding lines with high levels of leaf spot resistance. 

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