Genetics of clubroot resistance in brassica species
Clubroot disease, caused by the obligate plant pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae Wor., is one of the most economically important diseases affecting Brassica crops in the world. The genetic basis of clubroot resistance (CR) has been well studied in three economically important Brassica species: B. rapa, B. oleracea, and B. napus. In B. rapa, mainly in Chinese cabbage, one minor and seven major CR genes introduced from European fodder turnips have been identified. Mapping of these CR genes localized Crr1 on R8, Crr2 on R1, CRc on R2, and Crr4 on R6 linkage groups of Chinese cabbage. Genes Crr3, CRa, CRb, and CRk mapped to R3, but at two separate loci, CRa and CRb are independent of Crr3 and CRk, which are closely linked. Further analysis suggested that Crr1, Crr2, and CRb have similar origins in the ancestral genome as in chromosome 4 of Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetic analysis of clubroot resistance genes in B. oleracea suggests that they are quantitative traits. Twenty-two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were mapped in different linkage groups of B. oleracea. In B. napus, genetic analysis of clubroot resistance was found to be governed by one or two dominant genes, whereas resistance conferred by two recessive genes is reported. The quantitative analysis approach, however, proved that they are polygenic. In total, at least 16 QTLs have been detected on eight chromosomes of B. napus, N02, N03, N08, N09, N13, N15, N16, and N19. The chromosomal location of the other six QTLs is not clear. Cloning of any of these QTLs or resistance loci was not, however, possible until recently. Progress in genomics, particularly the techniques of comparative mapping and genome sequencing, supplements cloning and allows improved characterization of CR genes. Further development of DNA markers linked to CR genes will in turn hasten the breeding of clubroot-resistant Brassica cultivars.