Quantitative trait loci affecting pathogen resistance and ripening of grapevines
Grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) form the basis of viticulture, and are susceptible to diseases such as downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) and powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator). Therefore, successful viticulture programs require the use of pesticides. Breeding for resistance is the only eco-friendly solution. Marker-assisted selection is currently widely used for grapevine breeding. Consequently, traits of interest must be tagged with molecular markers linked to quantitative trait loci (QTL). We herein present our findings regarding genetic mapping and QTL analysis of resistance to downy and powdery mildew diseases in the progenies of the GF.GA-47-42 ('Bacchus' × 'Seyval') × 'Villard blanc' cross. Simple sequence repeats and single nucleotide polymorphisms of 151 individuals were analyzed. A map consisting of 543 loci was screened for QTL analyses based on phenotypic variations observed in plants grown in the field or under controlled conditions. A major QTL for downy mildew resistance was detected on chromosome 18. For powdery mildew resistance, a QTL was identified on chromosome 15. This QTL was replaced by a novel QTL on chromosome 18 in 2003 (abnormally high temperatures) and 2004. Subsequently, both QTLs functioned together. Additionally, variations in the timing of the onset of veraison, which is a crucial step during grape ripening, were studied to identify genomic regions affecting this trait. A major QTL was detected on linkage group 16, which was supplemented by a minor QTL on linkage group 18. This study provides useful information regarding novel QTL-linked markers relevant for the breeding of disease-resistant grapevines adapted to current climatic conditions.