Mfu16 is an unstable fire blight resistance QTL on linkage group 16 of Malus fusca MAL0045
A strong fire blight resistance QTL (Mfu10) was previously detected on linkage group 10 (LG10) of Malus fusca accession MAL0045, using several strains of the causative bacterium, Erwinia amylovora. As no strain capable of breaking the resistance of MAL0045 has been found, we hypothesized that another locus contributes to its fire blight resistance. However, none was detected with strains previously tested on the progeny. Here, an avrRpt2EA mutant strain (Ea1038) with the chromosomal S-allele deleted and complemented with the less aggressive C-allele, was used to phenotype MAL0045 × ‘Idared’ progeny. We performed phenotype-genotype analyses using the first genetic map of MAL0045, which is scarcely dense, and a recently constructed saturated map. As expected, Mfu10 was detected on LG10 with Ea1038, as was previously with other strains. Interestingly, a QTL with a logarithm of odds (LOD) thresholds of 5.5 and 2.9, significant at the genome-wide and chromosome levels, respectively, was detected with Ea1038 on LG16 (Mfu16) in a subset of 76 individuals, but only using the saturated map. Progenies carrying both Mfu10 and Mfu16 were significantly more resistant than progenies carrying only Mfu10. However, the LOD of Mfu16 diminished to 2.6 in a larger subset of individuals. We hypothesize that Mfu16 is present in the genome of MAL0045 albeit unstable in the progeny.