High resolution RFLP map around the root knot nematode resistance gene (Mi) in tomato

R. Messeguer, M. Ganal, M. C. de Vicente, N. D. Young, H. Bolkan, S. D. Tanksley

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In the 1940's the root-knot nematode resistance gene (Mi) was introgressed into the cultivated tomato from the wild species, L. peruvianum, and today it provides the only form of genetic resistance against this pathogen. We report here the construction of a high resolution RFLP map around the Mi gene that may aid in the future cloning of this gene via chromosome walking. The map covers the most distal nine map units of chromosome 6 and contains the Mi gene, nine RFLP markers, and one isozyme marker (Aps-1). Based on the analysis of more than 1,000 F2 plants from four crosses, we were able to pinpoint the Mi gene to the interval between two of these markers - GP79 and Aps-1. In crosses containing the Mi gene, this interval is suppressed in recombination and is estimated to be 0.4 c M in length. In contrast, for a cross not containing Mi, the estimated map distance is approximately 5 times greater (ca. 2 c M). Using RFLP markers around Mi as probes, it was possible to classify nematode resistant tomato varieties into three types based on the amount of linked peruvianum DNA still present. Two of these types (representing the majority of the varieties tested) were found to still contain more than 5 c M of peruvianum chromosome - a result that may explain some of the negative effects (e.g. fruit cracking) associated with nematode resistance. The third type (represented by a single variety) is predicted to carry a very small segment of peruvianum DNA (<2 c M) and may be useful in the identification of additional markers close to Mi and in the orientation of clones during a chromosome walk to clone the gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-536
Number of pages8
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • Disease resistance
  • Genetic mapping
  • Lycopersicon esculentum
  • Meloidogyne incognita
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism


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