Molecular genetic characterisation of the Asc locus of tomato conferring resistance to the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici

E.A. van der Biezen, B. Overduin, T.J.A. Kneppers, L.A. Mesbah, H.J.J. Nijkamp, J. Hille

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The Alternaria stem canker disease of tomato is caused by the fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici and its host-selective AAL-toxins. Resistance to the pathogen and insensitivity to the toxins are conferred by the Asc locus on chromosome 3L. Sensitivity to AAL-toxins is a relative character; the toxins inhibit development of all tested tomato tissues but susceptible cultivars are much more sensitive than resistant cultivars. In addition to tomato, some other plant and animal species are sensitive to the toxins as well. The likely mode of action of AAL-toxins is interference with sphingolipid biosynthesis by specific inhibition of ceramide synthase activity. To molecularly isolate Asc, transposon tagging and positional cloning strategies are applied. As a first step, transposon insertions and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers are identified in proximity of the Asc locus. Subsequently, the transposons are used to inactivate Asc by insertion mutagenesis, and the RFLP markers are used to identify yeast artificial chromosomes (YACs) with tomato DNA inserts. Once an Asc-insertion mutant and/or a YAC encompassing Asc has been obtained, physical isolation and characterisation of Asc will be conceivable. Elucidation of the molecular role of Asc will illuminate the specificity of host recognition by Alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • transposon tagging
  • positional cloning
  • Lycopersicon esculentum
  • Asc locus
  • Alternaria alternata
  • AAL-toxins

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