Identification of Candidate Genes for a Major Quantitative Disease Resistance Locus From Soybean PI 427105B for Resistance to Phytophthora sojae

Front Plant Sci. 2022 Jun 14;13:893652. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.893652. eCollection 2022.


Phytophthora root and stem rot is a yield-limiting soybean disease caused by the soil-borne oomycete Phytophthora sojae. Although multiple quantitative disease resistance loci (QDRL) have been identified, most explain <10% of the phenotypic variation (PV). The major QDRL explaining up to 45% of the PV were previously identified on chromosome 18 and represent a valuable source of resistance for soybean breeding programs. Resistance alleles from plant introductions 427105B and 427106 significantly increase yield in disease-prone fields and result in no significant yield difference in fields with less to no disease pressure. In this study, high-resolution mapping reduced the QDRL interval to 3.1 cm, and RNA-seq analysis of near-isogenic lines (NILs) varying at QDRL-18 pinpointed a single gene of interest which was downregulated in inoculated NILs carrying the resistant allele compared to inoculated NILs with the susceptible allele. This gene of interest putatively encodes a serine-threonine kinase (STK) related to the AtCR4 family and may be acting as a susceptibility factor, based on the specific increase of jasmonic acid concentration in inoculated NILs. This work facilitates further functional analyses and marker-assisted breeding efforts by prioritizing candidate genes and narrowing the targeted region for introgression.

Keywords: Glyma.18g026900; Phytophthora sojae; RNA-seq; glutathione; jasmonic acid; quantitative disease resistance; serine-threonine kinase; soybean.