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Genetics. 1988 Dec;120(4):947-58.

Genetic analysis of the fungus, Bremia lactucae, using restriction fragment length polymorphisms.

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  • 1Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 95616.


Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were developed as genetic markers for Bremia lactucae, the biotrophic Oomycete fungus which causes lettuce downy mildew. By using 55 genomic and cDNA probes, a total of 61 RFLP loci were identified among three heterothallic isolates of B. lactucae. Of these 61 RFLP loci, 53 were heterozygous in at least one of the three strains and thus were informative for linkage analysis in at least one of two F1 crosses that were performed. Analysis of the cosegregation of these 53 RFLPs, eight avirulence loci and the mating type locus allowed the construction of a preliminary genetic linkage map consisting of 13 small linkage groups. Based on the extent of linkage detected among probes, the genome of B. lactucae can be estimated to be approximately 2000 cM. Linkage was detected between a RFLP locus and an avirulence gene, providing a potential starting point for chromosome walking to clone an avirulence gene. The high frequency of DNA polymorphism in naturally occurring isolates and the proper Mendelian segregation of loci detected by low copy number probes indicates that it will be possible to construct a detailed genetic map of B. lactucae using RFLPs as markers. The method of analysis employed here should be applicable to many other outbreeding, heterozygous species for which defined inbred lines are not available.

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