14 June 2024
Blueberry rot resistance markers found

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Blueberry rot resistance markers uncovered. Anthracnose fruit rot (AFR), caused by Colletotrichum fioriniae, is the most destructive and widespread fruit disease of blueberry, impacting fruit quality and yield. The reliance on fungicides prompts the need for sustainable solutions, highlighting the importance of breeding AFR-resistant cultivars. Research points to quercetin glycosides in blueberries with potential antifungal properties against AFR, yet the genetic and biochemical underpinnings of resistance are poorly understood. This knowledge gap underscores the urgency to explore the genetic basis and phytochemical defenses against AFR to develop environmentally friendly, resistant blueberry varieties.

Blueberry Rot Resistance Markers: Understanding Blueberry Resistance to Anthracnose Fruit Rot



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Anthracnose fruit rot (AFR), caused by the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum fioriniae, is a prevalent and devastating disease that poses a significant threat to blueberry production worldwide. This disease not only affects the quality of the fruit but also reduces the overall yield, leading to substantial economic losses for growers. To address this challenge, scientists are actively seeking sustainable solutions, including the development of blueberry cultivars with inherent resistance to AFR.

Blueberry Rot Resistance Markers: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets of Resistance

Recent research has shed light on the genetic basis of AFR resistance in blueberries, providing valuable insights for breeding programs. A study published in August 2023 in the journal Horticulture Research employed association mapping, a powerful genetic technique, to identify three genomic regions, known as quantitative trait loci (QTLs), linked to AFR resistance. These QTLs harbor candidate genes associated with the biosynthesis of flavonoids, a group of plant pigments with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, and resistance against pathogens.

Blueberry Rot Resistance Markers: Candidate Genes and Their Potential Roles

One of the identified QTLs lies on chromosome 17 and harbors a gene encoding a poorly characterized protein with similarities to a cytokine signaling protein in Arabidopsis, a model plant species. This gene may play a role in regulating defense responses against pathogens.

Another QTL on chromosome 23 is located near a gene encoding a transcription factor belonging to the YABBY family. This transcription factor potentially influences the activity of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), an enzyme critical for flavonoid biosynthesis. By regulating PAL activity, this gene may contribute to the production of flavonoids with antifungal properties, thereby enhancing resistance to AFR.

The third QTL, located on chromosome 28, is associated with a gene encoding an SGNH hydrolase-type esterase, an enzyme involved in anthocyanin metabolic processes. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid responsible for the red, blue, and purple colors in many fruits and vegetables. This gene may influence the accumulation of anthocyanins, which have been shown to possess antimicrobial activity against certain pathogens.

Blueberry Rot Resistance Markers: Gene Expression and Metabolite Profiling

To further understand the molecular mechanisms underlying AFR resistance, researchers examined changes in gene expression and metabolite levels in blueberry fruits following inoculation with C. fioriniae. They found that genes associated with specialized metabolic pathways, particularly flavonol biosynthesis, and pathogen resistance were significantly upregulated in resistant individuals.

Non-targeted metabolite profiling revealed the accumulation of a specific flavonol glycoside, consistent with quercetin rhamnoside, in resistant blueberry lines. Quercetin rhamnoside is known for its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, suggesting its potential role in AFR resistance. However, variability in the levels of this compound within different groups suggests that resistance mechanisms may be more complex and involve multiple factors.

Blueberry Rot Resistance Markers: Wrapping Up

The identification of genetic markers, candidate genes, and metabolites associated with AFR resistance in blueberries provides valuable insights for breeding programs aimed at developing resistant cultivars. By incorporating these markers into breeding strategies, scientists can select blueberry plants with enhanced resistance to AFR, reducing the reliance on fungicides and promoting sustainable blueberry production. Further research is needed to elucidate the precise roles of the identified genes and metabolites in AFR resistance, which will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the defense mechanisms in blueberries and facilitate the development of effective and environmentally friendly disease management strategies.

FAQ’s

What is anthracnose fruit rot (AFR)?

Anthracnose fruit rot (AFR) is a devastating disease caused by the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum fioriniae, posing a significant threat to blueberry production worldwide. It affects the fruit quality and reduces yield, leading to substantial economic losses for growers.

How does genetic resistance contribute to AFR management?

Breeding blueberry cultivars with inherent resistance to AFR is a sustainable and cost-effective approach to disease management. Genetic resistance reduces the reliance on fungicides, minimizes yield losses, and promotes environmentally friendly blueberry production.

What genetic markers have been identified for AFR resistance in blueberries?

Recent research has identified three genomic regions, known as quantitative trait loci (QTLs), linked to AFR resistance in blueberries. These QTLs harbor candidate genes associated with flavonoid biosynthesis and resistance against pathogens.

How do candidate genes contribute to AFR resistance?

Candidate genes within the identified QTLs may play roles in regulating defense responses, flavonoid biosynthesis, and anthocyanin metabolism. These genes influence the production of flavonoids with antifungal properties, thereby enhancing resistance to AFR.

What are the potential applications of this research in blueberry breeding programs?

The identification of genetic markers, candidate genes, and metabolites associated with AFR resistance provides valuable insights for breeding programs. By incorporating these markers into breeding strategies, scientists can select blueberry plants with enhanced resistance to AFR, reducing the reliance on fungicides and promoting sustainable blueberry production.

Links to additional Resources:

1. https://www.acsh.org/ 2. https://www.ars.usda.gov/ 3. https://www.apsnet.org/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Blueberry, Anthracnose fruit rot, Flavonoids

Blueberry
Blueberry is a widely distributed and widespread group of perennial flowering plant with blue or purple berries. They are classified in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. Vaccinium also includes cranberries, bilberries, huckleberries and Madeira blueberries. Commercial blueberries—both wild (lowbush) and cultivated (highbush)—are all native to North America. The...
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Pitaya
A pitaya () or pitahaya () is the fruit of several different cactus species indigenous to the region of southern Mexico and along the Pacific coasts of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. Pitaya is cultivated in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, the Caribbean, Australia, Brazil,...
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Flavonoid
Flavonoids (or bioflavonoids; from the Latin word flavus, meaning yellow, their color in nature) are a class of polyphenolic secondary metabolites found in plants, and thus commonly consumed in the diets of humans.Chemically, flavonoids have the general structure of a 15-carbon skeleton, which consists of two phenyl rings (A and...
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