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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2019; doi:10.3390/ijms18102019

Current Status of Early Blight Resistance in Tomato: An Update

1
Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, 455 Research Dr., Mills River, NC 28759, USA
2
Center for Integrated Fungal Research, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Abstract

Early blight (EB) is one of the dreadful diseases of tomato caused by several species of Alternaria including Alternaria linariae (which includes A. solani and A. tomatophila), as well as A. alternata. In some instances, annual economic yield losses due to EB have been estimated at 79%. Alternaria are known only to reproduce asexually, but a highly-virulent isolate has the potential to overcome existing resistance genes. Currently, cultural practices and fungicide applications are employed for the management of EB due to the lack of strong resistant cultivars. Resistance sources have been identified in wild species of tomato; some breeding lines and cultivars with moderate resistance have been developed through conventional breeding methods. Polygenic inheritance of EB resistance, insufficient resistance in cultivated species and the association of EB resistance with undesirable horticultural traits have thwarted the effective breeding of EB resistance in tomato. Several quantitative trait loci (QTL) conferring EB resistance have been detected in the populations derived from different wild species including Solanum habrochaites, Solanum arcanum and S. pimpinellifolium, but none of them could be used in EB resistance breeding due to low individual QTL effects. Pyramiding of those QTLs would provide strong resistance. More research is needed to identify additional sources of useful resistance, to incorporate resistant QTLs into breeding lines through marker-assisted selection (MAS) and to develop resistant cultivars with desirable horticultural traits including high yielding potential and early maturity. This paper will review the current understanding of causal agents of EB of tomato, resistance genetics and breeding, problems associated with breeding and future prospects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alternaria solani; early blight; polygenic inheritance; quantitative trait loci Alternaria solani; early blight; polygenic inheritance; quantitative trait loci
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Adhikari, P.; Oh, Y.; Panthee, D.R. Current Status of Early Blight Resistance in Tomato: An Update. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2019.

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