QTL analysis of citrus tristeza virus-citradia interaction
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Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) has caused the death of millions of trees grafted on sour orange (Citrus aurantium). However, this rootstock is very well adapted to the Mediterranean, semi-arid conditions. The aim of the present research is to genetically analyze the accumulation of CTV in a progeny derived from the cross between C. aurantium and Poncirus trifoliata, both resistant to CTV isolate T-346. Graft propagation of 104 hybrids was done on healthy sweet orange as a rootstock. Three months later, each rootstock was graft inoculated with two patches of infected tissue (isolate T-346). One, 2, and sometimes, 3 and 4 years after inoculation, hybrids and infected patches were tested for CTV by tissue-blot immuno-assay. Additionally, CTV multiplication was evaluated every year as the optical density of double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay reactions. Linkage maps for P. trifoliata based on 63 markers, and for C. aurantium based on 157 markers, were used. Most molecular markers were microsatellites and IRAP (inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphisms). Some analogues of resistance and expressed sequences were also included for candidate gene analysis. Resistance against CTV was analyzed as a quantitative trait (CTV accumulation) by QTL (quantitative trait loci) analysis to avoid the assumption of monogenic control. Three major resistance QTLs were detected where the P. trifoliata resistance gene, Ctv-R, had been previously located in other progenies. Up to five minor QTLs were detected (Ctv-A(1) to Ctv-A(5)). A significant epistatic interaction involving Ctv-R-1 and Ctv-A(1) was also found. An analogue of a resistance gene is a candidate for Ctv-A(3), and two expressed sequences are candidates for Ctv-A(1) and Ctv-A(5). Single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis of CTV genes QTL P20 and P25 (coat protein) in susceptible hybrids, was carried out to test whether or not any QTL accumulation was a defeated resistance gene. Since the same haplotype of the virus was visualized independently on the CTV titer, differences in the amount of virions are not explained through the selection of CTV genotypes by the host, but through differences among citradias in CTV replication and/or movement.