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Acta Biológica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-548X


VASQUEZ, Andrea Ximena; SOTO SEDANO, Johana Carolina  and  LOPEZ CARRASCAL, Camilo Ernesto. UNRAVELING THE MOLECULES HIDDEN IN THE GRAY SHADOWS OF QUANTITATIVE DISEASE RESISTANCE TO PATHOGENS. Acta biol.Colomb. [online]. 2018, vol.23, n.1, pp.5-16. ISSN 0120-548X.

One of the most challenging questions in plant breeding and molecular plant pathology research is what are the genetic and molecular bases of quantitative disease resistance (QDR)?. The scarce knowledge of how this type of resistance works has hindered plant breeders to fully take advantage of it. To overcome these obstacles new methodologies for the study of quantitative traits have been developed. Approaches such as genetic mapping, identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) and association mapping, including candidate gene approach and genome wide association studies, have been historically undertaken to dissect quantitative traits and therefore to study QDR. Additionally, great advances in quantitative phenotypic data collection have been provided to improve these analyses. Recently, genes associated to QDR have been cloned, leading to new hypothesis concerning the molecular bases of this type of resistance. In this review we present the more recent advances about QDR and corresponding application, which have allowed postulating new ideas that can help to construct new QDR models. Some of the hypotheses presented here as possible explanations for QDR are related to the expression level and alternative splicing of some defense-related genes expression, the action of "weak alleles" of R genes, the presence of allelic variants in genes involved in the defense response and a central role of kinases or pseudokinases. With the information recapitulated in this review it is possible to conclude that the conceptual distinction between qualitative and quantitative resistance may be questioned since both share important components.

Keywords : breeding; complex traits; genome; gene expression; plant immunity; quantitative disease resistance (QDR); quantitative trait loci (QTL).

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