SNP genotyping of genes governing resistance to Ascochyta lentis in cultivated and wild lentil

SNP genotyping of genes governing resistance to Ascochyta lentis in cultivated and wild lentil

Lentil has been grown commercially in western Canada since 1970. Ascochyta lentis, the causal agent of ascochyta blight of lentil is established as one of the most economically important diseases of lentil in Western Canada. Resistance breeding is important for developing a durable and sustainable strategy for managing problems with ascochyta blight. Germplasm sources with genes for resistance to ascochyta blight have been identified both in the cultivated and the wild Lens species.  However, large scale and long-term cultivation of lentil cultivars with single resistance genes may enable the pathogen to overcome the resistance. To deal with this problem, the widely acceptable genetic improvement strategy is to pyramid resistance genes. Developing closely linked single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for resistance genes is prerequisite for pyramiding resistance genes. To develop SNP markers, a series of selected recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations derived from resistant sources will be phenotyped under greenhouse conditions (pathogenicity tests) followed by screening available SNP markers across the entire set of RIL populations. To improve phenotyping and to understand the potential variation in physiological reactions of different resistance genes, the histological reaction to infection with the pathogen will also be examined using microscopy facilitated by using at fungal isolates genetically transformed with a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene.  The results of this research will be fundamental to developing a sustainable genetic improvement strategy for lentil based on developing lines which carry multiple resistance genes for use in creating durable resistance to ascochyta blight.