Association Mapping of Lathyrus sativus Disease Response to Uromyces pisi Reveals Novel Loci Underlying Partial Resistance

Davide Coelho Martins, Diego Rubiales, Maria Carlota Vaz Patto

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Uromyces pisi ([Pers.] D.C.) Wint. is an important foliar biotrophic pathogen infecting grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.), compromising their yield stability. To date, few efforts have been made to assess the natural variation in grass pea resistance and to identify the resistance loci operating against this pathogen, limiting its efficient breeding exploitation. To overcome this knowledge gap, the genetic architecture of grass pea resistance to U. pisi was investigated using a worldwide collection of 182 accessions through a genome-wide association approach. The response of the grass pea collection to rust infection under controlled conditions and at the seedling stage did not reveal any hypersensitive response but a continuous variation for disease severity, with the identification of promising sources of partial resistance. A panel of 5,651 high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers previously generated was used to test for SNP-trait associations, based on a mixed linear model accounting for population structure. We detected seven SNP markers significantly associated with U. pisi disease severity, suggesting that partial resistance is oligogenic. Six of the associated SNP markers were located in chromosomes 4 and 6, while the remaining SNP markers had no known chromosomal position. Through comparative mapping with the pea reference genome, a total of 19 candidate genes were proposed, encoding for leucine-rich repeat, NB-ARC domain, and TGA transcription factor family, among others. Results presented in this study provided information on the availability of partial resistance in grass pea germplasm and advanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of quantitative resistance to rust in grass pea. Moreover, the detected associated SNP markers constitute promising genomic targets for the development of molecular tools to assist disease resistance precision breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number842545
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022


  • genome-wide association study (GWAS)
  • grass pea
  • natural variation
  • partial resistance
  • rust


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