Spinach, a healthy vegetable, is facing a big problem called downy mildew disease. It's caused by a specific germ called Peronospora effusa. This germ has different types, and it can infect even the spinach plants that were once resistant. Scientists are working hard to find new ways to protect spinach from this disease.
In April 2023, a research paper was published in Horticulture Research. It's about a study that focused on two spinach varieties called Lazio and Whale. These varieties are resistant to one type of germ, but another variety, called Viroflay, is susceptible to all types.
In the study, researchers crossed Lazio and Whale with Viroflay to make new seeds. These seeds grew into plants that were then tested for their resistance to the germ. It turns out that the resistance is determined by a single dominant gene. The scientists used advanced genetic techniques to study these plants.
They found specific spots on one of the spinach chromosomes (chromosome 3) that are linked to the resistance. They also identified some genes near these spots that are crucial for protecting spinach from downy mildew. This discovery is a big step toward developing spinach that is resistant to the disease.
In short, this study found a specific gene (RPF2) that helps spinach resist downy mildew, and it's located on chromosome 3. This is an important breakthrough for creating healthier spinach for both growers and consumers.