A complex receptor locus confers responsiveness to necrosis and ethylene-inducing like peptides in Brassica napus.

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Brassica crops are susceptible to diseases which can be mitigated by breeding for resistance. MAMPs (microbe-associated molecular patterns) are conserved molecules of pathogens that elicit host defences known as pattern-triggered immunity (PTI). Necrosis and Ethylene-inducing peptide 1-like proteins (NLPs) are MAMPs found in a wide range of phytopathogens. We studied the response to BcNEP2, a representative NLP from Botrytis cinerea, and showed that it contributes to disease resistance in Brassica napus. To map regions conferring NLP response, we used the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced during PTI across a population of diverse B. napus accessions for associative transcriptomics (AT), and bulk segregant analysis (BSA) on DNA pools created from a cross of NLP-responsive and non-responsive lines. In silico mapping with AT identified two peaks for NLP responsiveness on chromosomes A04 and C05 whereas the BSA identified one peak on A04. BSA delimited the region for NLP-responsiveness to 3?Mbp, containing ~245 genes on the Darmor-bzh reference genome and four co-segregating KASP markers were identified. The same pipeline with the ZS11 genome confirmed the highest-associated region on chromosome A04. Comparative BLAST analysis revealed unannotated clusters of receptor-like protein (RLP) homologues on ZS11 chromosome A04. However, no specific RLP homologue conferring NLP response could be identified. Our results also suggest that BR-SIGNALLING KINASE1 may be involved with modulating the NLP response. Overall, we demonstrate that responsiveness to NLP contributes to disease resistance in B. napus and define the associated genomic location. These results can have practical application in crop improvement.