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New markers for breeding varieties with a strong and sustainable resistance to the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida

Development of markers of resistance alleles at loci GpaV and GpaXI enable the selection of new potato varieties with a strong and sustainable resistance against the cyst nematode Globodera pallida

Globodera pallida. © inra
By Franck Le Guerhier - Inra Transfert (+33(0)1 42 75 92 85)
Updated on 02/14/2013
Published on 01/22/2013

Potato (Solanum tuberosum ssp. tuberosum) is the third largest food crop in the world, after wheat and rice (325 million tons produced in 130 countries; FAO, STAT 2012). Two species of cyst nematodes attack the cultivated potatoes: Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis. These two species, which are classified as quarantine pests by the European and mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO), can cause considerable economic losses (up to 80%) when the level of nematode’s populations is very high in potato fields.
With the exception of the Gpa2 gene that confers resistance to a few populations of G. pallida, no monogenic resistance with high level has been detected in potato.
Scientists of the research unit “Genetics and breeding of fruits and vegetables” from INRA Center of Avignon, France, and scientists of the Institute of Genetics Environment and Plant Protection in Rennes, France, have characterized a gene underlying the strong effect QTL located at the GpaV locus, on potato chromosome V, which is involved in the resistance to G. pallida. They also developed a set of genetic markers for the selection of plants carrying the favorable GpaV allele in potato.
Researchers have assessed the resistance conferred by the resistance allele at GpaV locus, in several related potato species (Solanum sparsipilum, S. spegazzinii and S. vernei) infected with different nematode populations. In the case of S. sparsipilum origin, a sustainable resistance with a high level is obtained when the resistance allele at locus GpaVspl is associated with the resistance allele of the low effect GpaXIspl QTL. Thus, the researchers also developed a set of molecular markers to detect the resistance allele at the GpaXIspl QTL.
The simultaneous use of markers of resistance alleles at both loci GpaV and GpaXI enable the selection of new potato varieties with a strong and sustainable resistance against the cyst nematode G. pallida.
The sequences of the resistance allele of GpaV gene and associated markers are protected under an international patent application (WO2011/080329) filed in 2009 by INRA, and entitled “GpaV gene resistant to nematodes in the nightshade family”.
INRA Transfert, a subsidiary of INRA, is looking for industrial partners involved in potato breeding, but not exclusively, in order to license the genetic markers for cyst nematode resistance, or to consider the further development of this technology.

Technology transfer officer::
Claire NODET - Inra Transfert (+33 (0) 1 42 75 93 44)