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Prediction of a candidate resistance gene and development of the LSdCAP8 marker related to head smut resistance in maize

Hong Di, Yanxue Deng, Xinhai Guo, Tao Yu, Shuaishuai Kan, Xianjun Liu, Lin Zhang and Zhenhua Wang

R proteins, which are encoded by plant disease resistance (R) genes, are involved in many plant-pathogen interactions and thereby regulate plant resistance to numerous pathogens. Some R proteins genes contain a nucleotide-binding site (NBS) and a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain and are therefore known as NBS-LRR proteins. In the present study, a SNP was identified within an exon of the candidate resistance NBS-LRR-containing gene ZmNL, which is located on maize chromosome 2. This SNP could distinguish inbred maize lines that are resistant to head smut from those that are susceptible. Therefore, we developed the Derived Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequence marker LSdCAP8 from this SNP to efficiently distinguish resistant genotypes among 62 maize inbred lines belonging to six heterotic groups. The correlation between the LSdCAP8 marker genotype and field phenotype was 96.8% and 100% in inbred lines with disease incidences less than 10% and greater than 40%, respectively. This dCAPS marker could be used for highly sensitive selection of germplasm to use for breeding improved resistance to maize head smut.

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