Positional cloning and functional analysis of REN1 in 'Kishmish vatkana'
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Grapevine powdery mildew is an economically important fungal disease affecting grape cultivation throughout the world. Although the causal agent of disease, Erysiphe necator, can be effectively controlled by rigorous fungicide application, this method is costly to grape growers and detrimental to the environment. An alternative to fungicide application is the breeding and cultivation of grape varieties that are inherently resistant against this disease. My research focused on a powdery mildew-resistant grapevine variety named Kishmish vatkana. The purpose of my work was to identify the gene, named REN1 (Resistance to E. necator 1), that makes this variety resistant to powdery mildew. To accomplish this, I first mapped the location of the region containing REN1 in the grape genome using molecular markers, then cloned and analyzed the DNA sequence in that region. In these DNA sequences, I identified five candidate disease resistance genes that share features with known genes responsible for restricting the growth of pathogens in plants. I have cloned two of these genes to date, and tested them for functionality in a mutant line of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana that is susceptible to grapevine powdery mildew. These analyses are on-going. In the meantime, the molecular markers developed in this study are already being used in grape breeding to select for the presence of this resistance gene
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