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Characterization and fine mapping of a maize lesion mimic mutant (Les8) with enhanced resistance to Curvularia leaf spot and southern leaf blight

Identification of genes that confer multiple disease resistance (MDR) is crucial for the improvement of maize disease resistance. However, very limited genes are identified as MDR genes in maize. In this study, we characterized a dominant disease lesion mimics 8 (Les8) mutant that had chlorotic lesions on the leaves and showed enhanced resistance to both curvularia leaf spot and southern leaf blight.

Jiankun LiTianyuan FanYing ZhangYe XingMengyao ChenYing WangJie GaoNa ZhangJinjun TianChenyang ZhaoSihan ZhenJunjie FuXiaohuan MuJihua TangHongbin Niu & Mingyue Gou

Theoretical and Applied Genetics; January 2024; vol.137; Article 7

Key message

A novel light-dependent dominant lesion mimic mutant with enhanced multiple disease resistance was physiologically, biochemically, and genetically characterized; the causal gene was fine mapped to a 909 kb interval containing 38 genes.

Abstract

Identification of genes that confer multiple disease resistance (MDR) is crucial for the improvement of maize disease resistance. However, very limited genes are identified as MDR genes in maize. In this study, we characterized a dominant disease lesion mimics 8 (Les8) mutant that had chlorotic lesions on the leaves and showed enhanced resistance to both curvularia leaf spot and southern leaf blight. Major agronomic traits were not obviously altered, while decreased chlorophyll content was observed in the mutant, and the genetic effect of the Les8 mutation was stable in different genetic backgrounds. By BSR-seq analysis and map-based cloning, the LES8 gene was mapped into a 909 kb region containing 38 candidate genes on chromosome 9 wherein no lesion mimic or disease-resistance genes were previously reported. Using transcriptomics analysis, we found that genes involved in defense responses and secondary metabolite biosynthesis were enriched in the significantly up-regulated genes, while genes involved in photosynthesis and carbohydrate-related pathways were enriched in the significantly down-regulated genes in Les8. In addition, there was an overaccumulation of jasmonic acid and lignin but not salicylic acid in Les8. Taken together, this study revealed candidate genes and potential mechanism underlying Les8-conferred MDR in maize.

 

See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-023-04511-x

 

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