Development and validation of functional marker targeting an InDel in the major rice blast disease resistance gene Pi54 (Pik h )
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Rice blast is one of the most devastating diseases affecting the rice crop throughout the world. In molecular breeding for host plant resistance, functional markers are very useful for enhancing the precision and accuracy in marker-assisted selection (MAS) of target gene(s) with minimum effort, time and cost. Pi54 (which was earlier known as Pik h ) is one of the major blast resistance genes and has been observed to show resistance against many isolates of the blast pathogen in India. The gene has been cloned through map-based strategy and encodes a nucleotide-binding site–leucine-rich repeat (NBS–LRR) domain-containing protein. In the present study, we carried out allele mining for this gene and identified a 144-bp insertion/deletion (InDel) polymorphism in the exonic region of the gene. A PCR-based co-dominant molecular marker targeting this InDel, named Pi54 MAS, was developed. Pi54 MAS was observed to perfectly co-segregate with blast resistance in a mapping population with no recombinants. Validation of this marker in 105 genotypes which are either susceptible or resistant to rice blast disease showed that the marker is polymorphic in most of the resistant–susceptible genotype combinations and is more accurate than the earlier reported markers for Pi54. Hence this functional, co-dominant marker is suggested for routine deployment in MAS of Pi54 in breeding programs.
KeywordsRice blast Pi54 InDel Functional marker Magnaporthe oryzae
The Authors thank the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for providing funds for carrying out the research work. Ramkumar is grateful to CSIR for the award of a senior research fellowship.
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