Molecular Breeding

, 39:122 | Cite as

Genetic mapping of the Ph gene conferring disease resistance to black shank in tobacco

  • Yinguang Bao
  • Na Ding
  • Qiulin Qin
  • Xia Wu
  • Natalia Martinez
  • Robert Miller
  • David Zaitlin
  • Dandan Li
  • Shengming YangEmail author


Black shank, caused by the hemibiotrophic oomycete Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae, is one of the most destructive tobacco diseases. Using host resistance is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable strategy for reducing potential crop losses from blue shank disease. To assist breeding for black shank resistance and to facilitate gene cloning, we genetically mapped and characterized the Ph gene that confers resistance to P. parasitica var. nicotianae race 0. The Ph gene, which originated in N. plumbaginifolia, was found to be located on the top of LG20 in a genomic region that is enriched with genes coding for receptor-like kinases. Expression analysis of pathogen-related (PR) genes revealed that the hypersensitive response (HR) was induced rapidly in resistant plants at the biotrophic infection stage, while in susceptible lines, an intensified HR-like reaction was activated during necrotrophy. The genotype race-specific resistance conditioned by the Ph gene may be triggered by recognition of a matching Avirulence (Avr) protein secreted by the pathogen during the early phase of infection. However, pathogen colonization in compatible hosts could be achieved by hijacking of resistance signaling and acquiring nutrients from the dead cells after it switches to necrotrophy.


Black shank Hemibiotrophic oomycete Ph Disease resistance Genetic mapping 



This research was supported by British American Tobacco (to SY) and Council for Burley Tobacco (to SY).

Author contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: DL, RM and SY. Performed the experiments: YB, ND, QQ, XW, NM, and DL. Analyzed the data: YB, ND, DL, DZ, and SY. Wrote the first draft: YB, ND and SY.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11032_2019_1036_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (5.5 mb)
ESM 1 (PPTX 5671 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Genetics and BreedingShandong Agricultural UniversityShandongChina
  2. 2.Department of Plant & Soil SciencesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Kentucky Tobacco Research & Development CenterUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.USDA-ARS Cereals Research UnitEdward T. Schafer Agriculture Research CenterFargoUSA

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