The rust Puccinia psidii infects many species in the family Myrtaceae. Native to South America, the pathogen has recently entered Australia which has a rich Myrtaceous flora, including trees of the ecologically and economically important genus Eucalyptus. We studied the genetic basis of variation in rust resistance in Eucalyptus globulus, the main plantation eucalypt in Australia. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was undertaken using 218 genotypes of an outcross F2 mapping family, phenotyped by controlled inoculation of their open pollinated progeny with the strain of P. psidii found in Australia. QTL analyses were conducted using a binary classification of individuals with no symptoms (immune) versus those with disease symptoms, and in a separate analysis dividing plants with disease symptoms into those exhibiting the hypersensitive response versus those with more severe symptoms. Four QTL were identified, two influencing whether a plant exhibited symptoms (Ppr2 and Ppr3), and two influencing the presence or absence of a hypersensitive reaction (Ppr4 and Ppr5). These QTL mapped to four different linkage groups, none of which overlap with Ppr1, the major QTL previously identified for rust resistance in Eucalyptus grandis. Candidate genes within the QTL regions are presented and possible mechanisms discussed. Together with past findings, our results suggest that P. psidii resistance in eucalypts is quantitative in nature and influenced by the complex interaction of multiple loci of variable effect.
Tree Genetics & Genomes / Vol. 12, No. 39, pp.1-13