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Association of RGA-SSCP markers with resistance to downy mildew and anthracnose in grapevines

Author(s): P.A. Tantasawat, O. Poolsawat, T. Prajongjai, W. Chaowiset and A. Tharapreuksapong

Downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) and anthracnose (Sphaceloma ampelinum) are two major diseases that severely affect most grapevine (Vitis vinifera) cultivars grown commercially in Thailand. Progress of conventional breeding programs of grapevine for improved resistance to these diseases can be speeded up by selection of molecular markers associated with resistance traits. We evaluated the association between 13 resistance gene analog (RGA)-single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) markers with resistance to downy mildew and anthracnose in 71 segregating progenies of seven cross combinations between susceptible cultivars and resistant lines. F1 hybrids from each cross were assessed for resistance to downy mildew and anthracnose (isolates Nk4-1 and Rc2-1) under laboratory conditions. Association of resistance traits with RGA-SSCP markers was evaluated using simple linear regression analysis. Three RGA-SSCP markers were found to be significantly correlated with anthracnose resistance, whereas significant correlation with downy mildew resistance was observed for only one RGA-SSCP marker. These results demonstrate the usefulness of RGA-SSCP markers. Four candidate markers with significant associations to resistance to these two major diseases of grapevine were identified. However, these putative associations between markers and resistance need to be verified with larger segregating populations before they can be used for marker-assisted selection.