Identification of candidate genes required for susceptibility to powdery or downy mildew in cucumber

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Powdery mildew (PM, caused by Podosphaera fusca) and downy mildew (DM, caused by Pseudoperonospora cubensis) are important diseases of cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Breeding for resistance has been undertaken since the 1940s, but underlying resistance genes have not been functionally analysed yet. The published genome sequence of cucumber catalyses the search for such genes. Genetic studies have indicated that resistances to PM and DM in cucumber are often inherited recessively, which indicates the presence of susceptibility genes (S-genes). Therefore we analyzed the cucumber genome for homologs of functionally proven S-genes known from other plant species. We identified 13 MLO-like genes in cucumber, three of which cluster in Clade V, the clade that contains all known MLO-like susceptibility genes to powdery mildews in other dicots. The expression of one of these three genes, CsaMLO1, located on chromosome 1, was upregulated after PM inoculation. It co-localizes with a QTL for PM resistance previously identified. Also homologs of the susceptibility genes PMR4 and PMR5 are located at this QTL. The second MLO-like gene from Clade V (CsaMLO8) resides in a recessively inherited major QTL for PM resistance at the bottom of chromosome 5, together with a PMR6-like gene. Two major QTL for DM recessive resistance at the top of chromosome 5 co-localize with CsaDMR6-2, which is homologous to the DMR6 susceptibility gene in Arabidopsis. This study has identified several candidate genes for susceptibility to PM and DM in cucumber that may explain QTL for recessively inherited resistance, reported earlier.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • quantitative trait loci
  • sativus l.
  • disease resistance
  • mlo-gene
  • qtl analysis
  • cell-death
  • arabidopsis
  • defense
  • protein
  • barley

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