Muscadinia rotundifolia, a species closely related to cultivated grapevine Vitis vinifera, is a major source of resistance to grapevine downy and powdery mildew, two major threats to cultivated traditional cultivars of V. vinifera respectively caused by the oomycete Plasmopara viticola and the ascomycete Erisyphe necator. The aim of the present work was to develop a reference genetic linkage map based on simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for M. rotundifolia. This map was created using S1 M. rotundifolia cv. Regale progeny, and covers 948 cM on 20 linkage groups, which corresponds to the expected chromosome number for muscadine. The comparison of the genetic maps of V. vinifera and M. rotundifolia revealed a high macrosynteny between the genomes of both species. The S1 progeny was used to assess the general level of resistance of M. rotundifolia to P. viticola and E. necator, by scoring different parameters of pathogen development. A quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis allowed us to highlight a major QTL on linkage group 14 controlling resistance to powdery mildew, which explained up to 58 % of the total phenotypic variance. This QTL was named 'Resistance to Erysiphe Necator 5' (Ren5). A microscopic evaluation E. necator mycelium development on resistant and susceptible genotypes of the S1 progeny showed that Ren5 exerts its action after the formation of the first appressorium, and acts by delaying, and then stopping, mycelium development.
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