The oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans is the causal agent of late blight, one of the most devastating diseases of potato worldwide. As part of efforts to clone avirulence (Avr) genes and pathogenicity factors from P. infestans, we have constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library from an isolate containing six Avr genes. The BAC library comprises clones with an average insert size of 98 kb and represents an estimated 10 genome equivalents. A three-dimensional pooling strategy was developed to screen the BAC library for amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers, as this type of marker has been extensively used in construction of a P. infestans genetic map. Multiple positive clones were identified for each AFLP marker tested. The pools were used to construct a contig of 11 BAC clones in a region of the P. infestans genome containing a cluster of three avirulence genes. The BAC contig is predicted to encompass the Avr11 locus but mapping of the BAC ends will be required to determine if the Avr3 and Avr1O loci are also present in the BAC contig. These results are an important step towards the positional cloning of avirulence genes from P. infestans, and the BAC library represents a valuable resource for large-scale studies of oomycete genome organisation and gene content.
- Plant pathogen