New gene related to cotton Verticillium Wilt disease

Chinese scientists have identified a new gene related to cotton Verticillium Wilt, one of the major cotton disease, providing a reference for the breeding of cotton varieties resistant to the disease.

New gene related to cotton Verticillium Wilt diseaseVerticillium wilt is a wilt disease affecting over 350 species of eudicot plants. It is caused by six species of Verticillium fungi: V. dahliaeV. albo-atrumV. longisporumV. nubilumV. theobromae and V. tricorpus.

Many economically important plants are susceptible including cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, oilseed rape, eggplants, peppers and ornamentals, as well as others in natural vegetation communities. Many eudicot species and cultivars are resistant to the disease and all monocots, gymnosperms and ferns are immune.

Verticillium Wilt, caused by the fungal Verticillium dahliae, is one of the most devastating diseases of upland cotton. It is difficult to breed resistant varieties through traditional breeding methods and identifying key genes related to Verticillium Wilt resistance is of great significance.

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences found that the gene GhRPL18A-6 is involved in the disease resistance regulation of cotton and over-expression of the gene significantly improved Verticillium Wilt resistance in upland cotton.

The research provides insight into the mechanisms of resistance to Verticillium Wilt as well as novel germplasm resources for molecular breeding of resistant cotton varieties.

The research was published online in the journal Industrial Crops and Products.