Exploitation of resistance genes from oilseed rape for control of light leaf spot (PhD)

Project number
Lead partner
University of Hertfordshire
Start Date
End date
HGCA funding

The challenge

Light leaf spot, caused by Pyrenopeziza brassicae, is an increasingly damaging disease of oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Good control with fungicides is now difficult to achieve and greater use of cultivars with good resistance against the causal pathogen is essential to manage the disease. There is new evidence about resistance against light leaf spot in oilseed rape; a major resistance gene has been mapped to the bottom end of chromosome A1 in B. napus. Other sources of resistance have not been characterised genetically but rapid progress in mapping resistance genes against P. brassicae is expected as genome sequences of brassicas are now available. This information can be exploited to provide guidance for breeding cultivars with improved resistance.

The project

This project aims to exploit new information about resistance and genome sequences to improve control of light leaf spot in brassicas. Specific project objectives include:

1. To sequence a resistance gene against P. brassicae at the end of oilseed rape chromosome A1.

2. To use the sequence of the resistance gene to identify other resistance genes in commercial oilseed rape cultivars with good resistance against P. brassicae.

3. To use available segregating populations to map resistance genes and generate markers for marker assisted selection in oilseed rape breeding programmes.

The benefits

This project will provide new information to improve brassica resistance against the light leaf spot pathogen to increase yields of oilseed rape, whilst decreasing production costs through reduced fungicide use.

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