Plant pathogens are known to cause massive damage to important crops, resulting in significant agricultural losses with widespread consequences for both the food supply and other industries that rely on plant materials. As such, there is a long felt need to reduce the incidence and/or impact of agricultural pests on crop production.

An example of such a pathogen is the fungus Peronospora effusa, which causes downy mildew in spinach, one of the most economically important diseases in this crop. P. effusa occurs worldwide and represents a significant problem, impacting both the yield and quality of cultivated spinach (Spinacia oleracea).

Peronospora effusa is an obligate pathogen and belongs to the group Oomycetes, a class of relatively primitive fungi. Other members of this group are, for instance, Pythium and Phytophthora. High humidity conditions are favorable for P. effusa sporangia development, which disperse by wind and rain, with the potential for widespread infection. Sexual reproduction of the pathogen results in oospore formation, which can persist in the environment (e.g., soil) or in seeds.

Symptoms of downy mildew caused by P. effusa in infected spinach plants include yellow, irregular, chlorotic lesions on the leaves, which are not marketable. Management of P. effusa is primarily via the development and introduction of new resistant spinach varieties and agricultural practices such as crop rotation, clearing of plant debris, and reduction of moisture on the leaves.

The present invention addresses the need for additional and improved resistances to Peronospora effusa by providing novel spinach plants, and parts and seeds thereof, comprising Peronospora resistance traits designated as “ADQ” and “ADZ”. Also provided are nucleic acid markers for identifying and producing spinach plants (e.g., S. oleracea plants), and parts and seeds thereof, comprising one or both of the Peronospora resistance traits. The ADQ and ADZ Peronospora resistances of the invention combine Peronospora resistances from a wild Spinacia turkestanica source and a S. oleracea source and have been localized to a small region of the chromosome that maintains the full resistance spectra of both sources without significant linkage drag and without adverse phenotypes (e.g., dwarfism). The ADQ and ADZ Peronospora resistance-conferring introgressed sequences, located on chromosome 3, are of a dominant nature; hence one copy of the sequence provides a Peronospora resistance phenotype, which is qualitative in nature and segregates in a monogenic manner.




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Molecular markers describing the QTL locus are described in the patent.

As Syngenta continuously produces new materials and increases its know-how on this native trait, we can offer a licensee additional know-how and material related to this native trait further to the patent license through Traitability. For example molecular markers and related know-how on this quality trait. This can be important for licensees that intend to use the trait in their commercial variety production. Furthermore, early access to Syngenta material containing the trait can help in getting this trait earlier in your varieties.

Financial terms

Based on FRAND license terms Syngenta asks a royalty on net sales for the use of this resistance locus in your commercial varieties.

You can review an example of a standard license agreement by clicking on the link: Standard License Agreement

Access to trait know-how and molecular markers to increase the efficiency with which the trait can be introduced into the market will be negotiated as a lump-sum fee or an additional royalty rate.