Functional characterization of putative disease resistance genes of strawberry
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- Master’s theses (BioVit) 
The octoploid strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) is highly valued horticultural crop. The fruit crop is often challenged by several phytopathogens including a hemibiotrophic oomycete, Phytophthora cactorum. The pathogen has been known to cause two distinct diseases in strawberry: crown rot and leather rot. Both diseases are reported to cause significant economic losses in strawberry production globally. The high heterozygosity, absence of qualitative/natural resistance and progressive phaseout of chemical means of disease control has made it obvious for identification and characterization of putative resistance genes from their wild accessions. In this study, two Fragaria vesca genes, WAK (Wall Associated Kinases) and FvCDIP1 (Fragaria vesca Cell Death Inducing Protein 1), were selected for their functional characterization. Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transient expression of WAK gene in Nicotiana benthamiana was performed followed by an inoculation of P. cactorum. Diseased area in terms of percentage was calculated to analyse the effect of WAK gene expression on defence. A reduced disease severity in comparison to the mock controls was observed for the WAK gene expressed plants.