One of major objectives of crop breeding is conferring resistance to diseases and pests. However, large-scale phenotypic evaluation for many diseases and pests is difficult because strict controls are required to prevent their spread. Detection of disease resistance genes by using DNA markers may be an alternative approach to select potentially resistant accessions. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) breeders in Japan extensively use resistance gene H1, which confers nearly absolute resistance to potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis) pathotype Ro1, the only pathotype found in Japan. However, considering the possibility of accidental introduction of the other pathotypes, breeding of resistant varieties is an important strategy to prevent infestation by non-invading pathotypes in Japan. In this study, to evaluate the prevalence of resistance genes in Japanese genetic resources, we developed a multiplex PCR method that simultaneously detects 3 resistance genes, H1, Gpa2 and Gro1-4. We revealed that many Japanese varieties possess not only H1 but Gpa2, which are potentially resistant to other pathotypes of potato cyst nematode. On the other hand, no genotype was found to have the Gro1-4, indicating importance of introduction of varieties having Gro1-4. Our results demonstrate the applicability of DNA-marker assisted evaluation of resistant potato genotypes without phenotypic evaluation.
Keywords: DNA marker, potato cyst nematode, pathotype, multiplex PCR, crop breeding, resistance gene