Effects of stacked quantitative resistances to downy mildew in lettuce do not simply add up

E. den Boer, K.T.B. Pelgrom, N. Zhang, R.G.F. Visser, R.E. Niks, M.J.W. Jeuken

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Key message In a stacking study of eight resistance QTLs in lettuce against downy mildew, only three out of ten double combinations showed an increased resistance effect under field conditions. Abstract Complete race nonspecific resistance to lettuce downy mildew, as observed for the nonhost wild lettuce species Lactuca saligna, is desired in lettuce cultivation. Genetic dissection of L. saligna’s complete resistance has revealed several quantitative loci (QTL) for resistance with field infection reductions of 30–50 %. To test the effect of stacking these QTL, we analyzed interactions between homozygous L. saligna CGN05271 chromosome segments introgressed into the genetic background of L. sativa cv. Olof. Eight different backcross inbred lines (BILs) with single introgressions of 30–70 cM and selected predominately for quantitative resistance in field situations were intercrossed. Ten developed homozygous lines with stacked introgression segments (double combinations) were evaluated for resistance in the field. Seven double combinations showed a similar infection as the individual most resistant parental BIL, revealing epistatic interactions with ‘less-than-additive’ effects. Three double combinations showed an increased resistance level compared to their parental BILs and their interactions were additive, ‘less-than-additive’ epistatic and ‘more-than-additive’ epistatic, respectively. The additive interaction reduced field infection by 73 %. The double combination with a ‘morethan-additive’ epistatic effect, derived from a combination between a susceptible and a resistant BIL with 0 and 30 % infection reduction, respectively, showed an average field infection reduction of 52 %. For the latter line, an attempt to genetically dissect its underlying epistatic loci by substitution mapping did not result in smaller mapping intervals as none of the 22 substitution lines reached a similar high resistance level. Implications for breeding and the inheritance of L. saligna’s complete resistance are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1805-1816
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • backcross inbred lines
  • lactuca-saligna
  • bremia-lactucae
  • epistatic interactions
  • trait loci
  • 3 qtls
  • nonhost resistance
  • isogenic lines
  • heading date
  • wild lettuce


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