New Forests

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 245–252 | Cite as

Genetic Models of Host–pathogen Gene Interaction Based on Inoculation of Loblolly Pine Seedlings with the Fusiform Rust Fungus



Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) seedlings from 12 full-sib families obtained from a six-parent half diallel mating design were challenged in a greenhouse using two basidiospore inocula of the fusiform rust fungus (Cronartium quercuum f.sp. fusiforme) at extremely high spore density. Each basidiospore inoculum originated from a mixed gall collection of aeciospores obtained from field-infected trees. Assessments at 4.5 months after inoculation showed that rust disease levels were high for every full-sib family and were typically above 90% for most full-sib families for both inocula. However, disease (% galled) for family E by A progeny, even at 9 months post inoculation, was lower, around 75%. A genetic model for interaction of two pairs of genes was proposed to explain the observed infection levels (% galled) in this diallel based on a gene-for-gene hypothesis. The putative genotypes of host parents and virulence compositions of mixed inocula were postulated. A bulk-segregant analysis approach based on phenotype (gall vs. no gall) was used to search for dominant molecular markers associated with the potential resistance genes in the host parents. A few candidate marker polymorphisms were observed between the gall vs. no gall bulks; however, none of the candidates appropriately co-segregated with phenotype when tested across the progeny set. An alternative model involving recessive resistance controlled by a single locus was also considered, but as with the two gene model, no markers to support the appropriateness of the recessive resistance model were observed.


Artificial inoculation Avirulence genes Bulk segregant analysis Epistasis Pinus taeda L. Rust resistance genes 


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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ForestryNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleigh

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