Identification of compatibility factor genes involved in the plant–fungus interactions and their potential use for breeding of Verticillium longisporum resistance in oilseed rape (Brassica napus)-VertiRes

Team: Shailja Singh, Dirk Schenke, Wanzhi Ye
Grant No.: 2814/P004, supported by DIP, BLE, 2014-2017 
Partner: NPZ Innovation GmbH (NPZi)


The hemibiotrophic soilborne fungus Verticillium longisporum represents one of the important pathogenic fungi in oilseed rape (Brassica napus). So far, only minor genetic variation in resistance to the fungus could be identified in oilseed rape germplasm.

To develop resistance against the fungus in oilseed rape, we followed a strategy based on the molecular understanding of plant-fungus interaction and the identification of genes, which are required for a compatible plant-fungus interaction.

As revealed by comparative transcriptome analyses and characterization of homologous genes by loss-of-function analysis in Arabidopsis, putative compatibility factors have been identified, which showed reduced susceptibility to fungal infection after knock-out.

In this project, we focus on identification and functional analysis of corresponding oilseed rape mutants from an EMS-mutant TILLING population. The mode of function of these genes in modulation of plant-fungus interactions will be further investigated. Following activities are planned:

  • NGS-based identification of oilseed rape mutants by screening an EMS-mutant TILLING population


  • Functional characterization of the oilseed mutants in respect of their interactions with the fungus


  • Evaluation of their potential use for resistance breeding in oilseed rape