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Theor Appl Genet. 2007 Nov;115(8):1127-36. Epub 2007 Sep 15.

The Solanum pimpinellifolium Cf-ECP1 and Cf-ECP4 genes for resistance to Cladosporium fulvum are located at the Milky Way locus on the short arm of chromosome 1.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.


The interaction between tomato and the leaf mould pathogen Cladosporium fulvum is an excellent model to study gene-for-gene interactions and plant disease resistance gene evolution. Most Cf genes were introgressed into cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) from wild relatives such as S. pimpinellifolium and novel Cf-ECP genes were recently identified in this species. Our objective is to isolate Cf-ECP1, Cf-ECP2, Cf-ECP4 and Cf-ECP5 to increase our understanding of Cf gene evolution, and the molecular basis for recognition specificity in Cf proteins. The map locations of Cf-ECP2 and Cf-ECP5 have been reported previously and we report here that Cf-ECP1 and Cf-ECP4 map to a different locus on the short arm of chromosome 1. The analysis of selected recombinants and allelism tests showed both genes are located at Milky Way together with Cf-9 and Cf-4. Our results emphasise the importance of this locus in generating novel Cf genes for resistance to C. fulvum. Candidate genes for Cf-ECP1 and Cf-ECP4 were also identified by DNA gel blot analysis of bulked segregant pools. In addition, we generated functional cassettes for expression of the C. fulvum ECP1, ECP2, ECP4 and ECP5 proteins using recombinant Potato Virus X, and three ECPs were also expressed in stable transformed plants. Using marker-assisted selection we have also identified recombinants containing Cf-ECP1, Cf-ECP2, Cf-ECP4 or Cf-ECP5 in cis with a linked T-DNA carrying the non-autonomous Zea mays transposon Dissociation. Using these resources it should now be possible to isolate all four Cf-ECPs using transposon tagging, or a candidate gene strategy.

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