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Keywords:

  • Botrytis;
  • Arabidopsis;
  • quantitative resistance;
  • phytoalexin;
  • camalexin;
  • QTL

Summary

Botrytis cinerea is a major pathogen of fruit and vegetable crops causing both pre- and post-harvest grey mould. We have analysed 16 Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes for natural variation in B. cinerea susceptibility. Susceptibility was associated with lower camalexin accumulation, and three ecotypes (Cape Verdi Islands (Cvi-0), Slavice (Sav-0) and Kindalville (Kin-0)) showed differential susceptibility to the two B. cinerea isolates used. Subsequently, to better understand the genetic control of grey mould disease, we assayed the Arabidopsis Landsberg erecta (Ler) × Columbia (Col-0) recombinant inbred population with the two isolates, and identified multiple small-to-medium-effect quantitative trait loci (QTL) governing susceptibility. Interestingly, the QTL for each isolate are distinct, suggesting that different mechanisms govern defence against these two isolates. Two QTL for each isolate exhibited epistatic interactions with specific allele combinations generating heightened B. cinerea susceptibility.