Novel strategy for durable Didymella resistance in cucumber

Novel strategy for durable Didymella resistance in cucumber

Aantal projecten

1

Organisatie onderdeel

TKI TU

Project code

LWV19043

Primaire MMIP

Landbouw, Water, Voedsel>Sleuteltechnologieën LWV>Biotechnologie en Veredeling

Start datum

01/03/20

Eind datum

31/12/23

Samenvatting

A main aspect of circular agriculture is the reduction of unnecessary losses in the food chain. Substantial food losses occur through crop diseases caused by pathogens and pests. Resistance or higher tolerance to these pathogens will reduce waste and furthermore, will reduce the use of environment unfriendly plant protection products. Therefore, we need resilient crop plants with durable resistance against the major threats. A devastating pathogen is the fungus
Didymella bryoniae, which causes fruit rot in cucumber and related species (e.g. melon). The main goal of this project is to develop strategies for durable resistance against Didymella in cucumber. An innovative strategy will be followed by focussing on the entry of the fungus into the fruit and aim to block this entry point by modifying features of the stigma. In the first phase of the project we will investigate the growth of the fungus in the cucumber flower and fruit and search for candidate genes that are involved in features of the stigma/style and when mutated blocks the growth of the fungus. In the second part of the project we will modify the stigma/style morphology or functioning in mutant cucumbers and test their susceptibility for the fungus. Resistant cucumber varieties will contribute to a more sustainable cucumber production, decreased use of fungicides and reduction in food waste, which perfectly fit within the Mission of a transition to a circular agriculture system.

Doel van het project

It will contribute to the MMIP ST2 Key technologies Biotechnology and breeding, because we will follow a novel strategy for durable disease resistance, in stead of the common strategy with resistance/susceptibility genes. Resistance or higher tolerance to these pathogens will reduce waste and furthermore, will reduce the use of environment unfriendly plant protection products. With that this project will contribute to the Mission circular agriculture.

Relatie met missie (Motivatie)

The approach could lead to a more generic strategy and more durable resistance than the classical strategy using resistance/susceptibility genes.

Geplande acties

Expected deliverables of this project are: (i) knowledge about the entry of the fungus in the cucumber flower and fruit; (ii) identify specific stigma-expressed genes that could be used to potentially de development or features of the stigma, which are required for fungus infection. (iii) generating cucumber lines affected in fungus entry in the flower/fruit, but still fertile (end of the project deliverable).

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