Characterization of a resistance locus (Pfs-1) to the Spinach Downy Mildew Pathogen (Peronospora farinosa f. sp. spinaciae) and Development of a Molecular Marker Linked to Pfs-1

B. M. Irish, J. C. Correll, C. Feng, T. Bentley, B. G. De Los Reyes

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19 Scopus citations


Downy mildew is a destructive disease of spinach worldwide. There have been 10 races described since 1824, six of which have been identified in the past 10 years. Race identification is based on qualitative disease reactions on a set of diverse host differentials which include openpollinated cultivars, contemporary hybrid cultivars, and older hybrid cultivars that are no longer produced. The development of a set of nearisogenic open-pollinated spinach lines (NILs), having different resistance loci in a susceptible and otherwise common genetic background, would facilitate identification of races of the downy mildew pathogen, provide a tool to better understand the genetics of resistance, and expedite the development of molecular markers linked to these disease resistance loci. To achieve this objective, the spinach cv. Viroflay, susceptible to race 6 of Peronospora farinosa f. sp. spinaciae, was used as the recurrent susceptible parent in crosses with the hybrid spinach cv. Lion, resistant to race 6. Resistant F1 progeny were subsequently backcrossed to Viroflay four times with selection for race 6 resistance each time. Analysis of the segregation data showed that resistance was controlled by a single dominant gene, and the resistance locus was designated Pfs-1. By bulk segregant analysis, an amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) marker (E-ACT/M-CTG) linked to Pfs-1 was identified and used to develop a co-dominant Sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) marker. This SCAR marker, designated Dm-1, was closely linked (≈1.7 cM) to the Pfs-1 locus and could discriminate among spinach genotypes that were homozygous resistant (Pfs-1Pfs-1), heterozygous resistant (Pfs-1pfs-1), or homozygous susceptible (pfs-1pfs-1) to race 6 within the original mapping population. Evaluation of a wide range of commercial spinach lines outside of the mapping population indicated that Dm-1 could effectively identify Pfs-1 resistant genotypes; the Dm-1 marker correctly predicted the disease resistance phenotype in 120 out of 123 lines tested. In addition, the NIL containing the Pfs-1 locus (Pfs-1Pfs-1) was resistant to multiple races of the downy mildew pathogen indicating Pfs-1 locus may contain a cluster of resistance genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-900
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Blue mold
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Marker-assisted selection
  • Peronospora effusa


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