Inheritance of resistance in lettuce to Plasmopara lactucae-radicis and expression of the beet curly top virus coat protein gene in transgenic tobacco.
AdvisorStanghellini, Michael E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe research presented in this dissertation involves the study of two systems in order to analyze and develop resistance in plants to pathogens. The first study considered the interaction between lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and Plasmopara lactucae-radicis, a recently described casual agent of downy mildew. This unique fungus is the only known casual agent of downy mildew that is restricted to the roots of its host. Thirty-eight lettuce cultivars were screened for resistance to P. lactucae-radicis. Two-wk-old lettuce plants grown hydroponically were challenged with this fungus and evaluated 2 and 3 wk after inoculation for resistance. Root necrosis and production of sporangia on roots was considered a susceptible reaction. Five cultivars were determined to be resistant to this fungus. Resistant cultivars, however, were colonized by the fungus but did not support the production of sporangia on roots. Data from F2 and F3 progenies demonstrated that resistance was conferred by a single recessive allele (plr). Fungal infection of susceptible plants resulted in significant decreases in fresh root and shoot weights and leaf number compared to decreases associated with infection of resistant plants. RFLP probes have been identified for mapping the plr gene. The second topic of this dissertation dealt with the development of transgenic tobacco plants that express a chimeric gene that consisted of the 35-S promoter and the coat protein gene of Beet Curly Top Virus, a member of the geminivirus group. Expression of viral coat protein genes in plants has resulted in resistance to the virus from which the coat protein gene was obtained. This type of "coat protein-mediated" resistance has not been demonstrated for any geminivirus. Tobacco leaf discs were inoculated with an Agrobacterium tumefaciens line that contained the chimeric gene. Three transgenic lines were determined by Southern and Northern analysis, and ELISA, to express the chimeric gene and produce coat protein. Trials to determine the resistance of these plant lines to BCTV are pending federal approval.
Degree ProgramPlant Pathology