Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping is a highly effective approach for studying genetically complex forms of plant disease resistance. With QTL mapping, the roles of specific resistance loci can be described, race-specificity of partial resistance genes can be assessed, and interactions between resistance genes, plant development, and the environment can be analyzed. Outstanding examples include: quantitative resistance to the rice blast fungus, late blight of potato, gray leaf spot of maize, bacterial wilt of tomato, and the soybean cyst nematode. These studies provide insights into the number of quantitative resistance loci involved in complex disease resistance, epistatic and environmental interactions, race-specificity of partial resistance loci, interactions between pathogen biology, plant development and biochemistry, and the relationship between qualitative and quantitative loci. QTL mapping also provides a framework for marker-assisted selection of complex disease resistance characters and the positional cloning of partial resistance genes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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