Digital imaging combined with genome-wide association mapping links loci to plant-pathogen interaction traits (Plant Phys.)

Resistance to plant pathogens is often studied as a qualitative trait than quantitative, focusing on the lesion size and pathogen numbers. However, resistance to generalist plant pathogens, such as Botrytis cinerea, is known to involve multiple genes. Fordyce et al. used high-throughput phenotyping for quantification of Botrytis infection in Arabidopsis. The authors studied color, shape, and size of the lesion and used 96 Arabidopsis accessions to identify genetic components of those alternative disease-related traits. Lesion size and color corresponded to jasmonic acid receptor COI1, cellulose synthase genes as well as genes related to light signaling. Lesion shape was genetically distinct from the other traits and corresponded to genes involved in signal transduction and sulfur transport. The authors propose the use of quantitative methods for studying other non-specialist pathogen infection in combination with forward genetics to identify new breeding target for biotic stress resistance. (Summary by Magdalena Julkowska) Plant Phys. 10.1104/pp.18.00851