Overcoming blackleg disease in canola through establishment of quantitative resistance

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SaskCanola summary

Key Result

This project is still in progress, but aims to identify genes providing immunity to blackleg of canola.

Project Summary


Quantitative resistance to blackleg disease, also known as adult plant resistance (APR), is a highly desirable trait for mitigation of risk to production and export of canola posed by the blackleg pathogen Leptosphaeria maculans (Lm). However the nature of APR genes and their function in providing protection is not known. The goal of this project is to combine gene expression profile and mapping data to identify genes providing immunity to blackleg of canola.

Blackleg symptom in canola

Identifying and deploying APR genes into B. napus is a pioneering approach that ensures long-term protection of canola against blackleg, thus improving profitability of canola production. In addition, gene specific markers will be a highly desirable tool for the canola seed industry to label canola varieties for presence and effectiveness of APR. APR labeling through the current approach that requires screening for APR, which relies on the screening of cultivars in blackleg field nurseries, is time consuming, expensive and inaccurate.


The objectives of this project are to clone adult plant resistance (APR) genes against blackleg disease, to characterize the host pathways triggered by these genes, and to incorporate APR genes into commercial canola cultivars by marker-assisted breeding and gene editing.


Three genes with reported roles in plant defence and predicted function as receptors, detoxifying enzymes and cell wall reinforcement proteins were identified. One has been transferred to the B. napus cultivars to determine its function in APR.