Scarcity of major resistance genes against Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae

Jasper P. Vermeulen, Katharina Hanika, Bart P.H.J. Thomma, Yuling Bai, Henk J. Schouten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Verticillium dahliae is a soil-borne fungal pathogen that causes vascular wilt disease in numerous plant species. The only described qualitative resistances against V. dahliae are the Ve1 gene and the V2 locus in tomato. These resistances have been overcome by virulent strains. We tried to identify additional resistances. Out of the methods we tested, comparing the canopy area of V. dahliae-inoculated plants with mock-inoculated plants yielded the best discriminative power in resistance tests. Out of six wild tomato accessions that were previously reported to possess some resistance, Solanum pimpinellifolium G1.1596 and Solanum cheesmanii G1.1615 displayed the lowest stunting and the least colonization by V. dahliae. Recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations were developed of both populations. No QTLs were identified in the G1.1596 RIL population. In the G1.1615 population, four small-effect QTLs were associated with reduced stunting. Many studies in other hosts also failed to discover major resistance genes against V. dahliae. We hypothesize that the scarcity of major resistance genes against V. dahliae is caused by its endophytic behaviour in nature. The limited damage in nature would not lead to evolutionary pressure to evolve major resistances. However, in agriculture, V. dahliae can behave more pathogenic, leading to serious damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-694
JournalPlant Breeding
Issue number5
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • disease resistance test
  • endophyte
  • QTLs
  • resistance
  • tomato
  • Verticillium dahliae


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