Background: The characterization of major resistance genes (R genes) in the potato remains an important task for molecular breeding. However, R genes are rapidly evolving and frequently occur in genomes as clusters with complex structures, and their precise mapping and identification are complicated and time consuming. Results: Comparative analysis of root transcriptomes of Solanum phureja genotypes with contrasting resistance to Globodera rostochiensis revealed a number of differentially expressed genes. However, compiling a list of candidate R genes for further segregation analysis was hampered by their scarce annotation. Nevertheless, combination of transcriptomic analysis with data on predicted potato NBS-LRR-encoding genes considerably improved the quality of the results and provided a reasonable number of candidate genes that provide S. phureja with strong resistance to the potato golden cyst nematode. Conclusion: Combination of comparative analyses of tissue-specific transcriptomes in resistant and susceptible genotypes may be used as an approach for the rapid identification of candidate potato R genes for co-segregation analysis and may be used in parallel with more sophisticated studies based on genome resequencing.