Genetic dissection of pathotype-specific resistance to ascochyta blight disease in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) using microsatellite markers
Ascochyta blight is an economically important disease of chickpea caused by the fungus Ascochyta rabiei. The fungus shows considerable variation for pathogenicity in nature. However, studies on the genetics of pathotype-specific resistance are not available for this plant-pathosystem. The chickpea landrace ILC 3279 has resistance to pathotype I and II of the pathogen. In order to understand the inheritance of pathotype-specific resistance in this crop, both Mendelian and quantitative trait loci analyses were performed using a set of intraspecific, recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between the susceptible accession ILC 1272 and the resistant ILC 3279, and microsatellite markers. We identified and mapped a major locus (ar1, mapped on linkage group 2), which confers resistance to pathotype I, and two independent recessive major loci (ar2a, mapped on linkage group 2 and ar2b, mapped on linkage group 4), with complementary gene action conferring resistance to pathotype II. Out of two pathotype II-specific resistance loci, one (ar2a) linked very closely with the pathotype I-specific resistance locus, indicating a clustering of resistance genes in that region of the chickpea genome.