Molecular diversity at the major cluster of disease resistance genes in cultivated and wild Lactuca spp.

D. Sicard, S. S. Woo, R. Arroyo-Garcia, O. Ochoa, D. Nguyen, A. Korol, E. Nevo, R. Michelmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diversity was analyzed in wild and cultivated Lactuca germplasm using molecular markers derived from resistance genes of the NBS-LRR type. Three molecular markers, one microsatellite marker and two SCAR markers that amplified LRR-encoding regions, were developed from sequences of resistance gene homologs at the main resistance gene cluster in lettuce. Variation for these markers were assessed in germplasm including accessions of cultivated lettuce, Lactuca sativa L. and three wild Lactuca spp., L. serriola L., L. saligna and L. virosa L. Diversity was also studied within and between natural populations of L. serriola from Israel and California; the former is close to the center of diversity for Lactuca spp. while the latter is an area of more recent colonization. Large numbers of haplotypes were detected indicating the presence of numerous resistance genes in wild species. The diversity in haplotypes provided evidence for gene duplication and unequal crossing-over during the evolution of this cluster of resistance genes. However, there was no evidence for duplications and deletions within the LRR-encoding regions studied. The three markers were highly correlated with resistance phenotypes in L. sativa. They were able to discriminate between accessions that had previously been shown to be resistant to all known isolates of Bremia lactucae. Therefore, these markers will be highly informative for the establishment of core collections and marker-aided selection. A hierarchical analysis of the population structure of L. serriola showed that countries, as well as locations, were significantly differentiated. These differences may reflect local founder effects and/or divergent selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalTheoretical And Applied Genetics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Diversity
  • LRR multigene family
  • Lactuca
  • Microsatellite
  • Resistance genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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