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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382839

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding of Lettuce, Spinach, Melon, and Related Species to Improve Production and Consumer-related Traits

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Title: Elucidating the biological basis of resistance to lettuce drop through cell wall composition analysis

item MAMO, BULLO - University Of California
item FOSTER, CLIFTON - Michigan State University
item ADHIKARI, NEIL - Former ARS Employee
item Hayes, Ryan
item Simko, Ivan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2021
Publication Date: 3/30/2021
Citation: Mamo, B.E., Foster, C.E., Adhikari, N.D., Hayes, R.J., Simko, I. 2021. Elucidating the biological basis of resistance to lettuce drop through cell wall composition analysis. Postdoctoral Research Symposium, March 30, 2021, Davis, California (virtual).

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cultivated lettuce is an economically important vegetable crop. Lettuce drop caused by the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia spp. causes significant yield loss in lettuce production. Besides, the pathogen infects >700 plants worldwide, including staple field crops. The use of host resistance in disease management is durable, sustainable, and healthy. However, complete resistance to Sclerotinia diseases is rare and partial resistance is often correlated with undesirable developmental traits, including premature bolting, early flowering and maturity, and plant height. Little to no attempt has been made to investigate the role of plant development in resistance to Sclerotinia diseases and their use in resistance breeding. We recently identified soft basal stem as a plausible susceptibility factor to Sclerotinia spp. in lettuce. Yet, the biological basis of stem development and its relationship with resistance to infection by Sclerotinia spp. is not well understood; it may be associated with host cell wall chemical components. We investigated the chemical composition in the stem and root of lettuce genotypes with varied growth habits and resistance levels. A preliminary analysis indicated significant variations among lettuce accessions and implicated certain components of the primary cell wall to play a role in lettuce drop resistance.