University of the Free State, South Africa
Nelzo Ereful, Botma Visser, Lesley Boyd, Zakkie Pretorius
Adult plant resistance (APR) to stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), is often conferred by multiple minor genes and has the potential to be durable. A preceding project identified two Kenyan wheat lines (W1406 and W6979) from the Genome Resource Unit (Norwich, UK) that exhibit APR to Pgt. The aim of this study was to investigate the APR response to Pgt race PTKST in W1406 and W6979 compared to 37-07, a susceptible control line. Histological investigation of inoculated flag leaf sheaths indicated a significant and quantifiable decrease in Pgt colony size in the APR lines at 120 hours post inoculation (hpi). Molecular analysis supported the observed fungal biomass decrease in the APR lines at 120 hpi. RNAseq analysis identified 169 transcripts differentially expressed in W1406 and 166 transcripts in W6979 when comparing 24 and 72 hpi to 0 hpi. In W1406 transcripts encoding putative pectinesterases, lipid-transfer proteins and leucine-rich repeat-like proteins were induced at 72 hpi. In W6979 only a corresponding putative pectinesterase encoding transcript was identified. Although the induced defence response in the two APR lines exhibited some dissimilarity, it potentially involves cell wall modification in both lines. Two independent sets of peroxidases were induced at 24 and 72 hpi in both lines, suggesting independent signalling events. Expression analysis suggests the occurrence of two phases of gene expression, one at 24 hpi and another at 72 hpi; the latter seeming to correspond to the inhibition of Pgt growth, manifesting as the observed APR phenotype.
Department of Field Crops, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
Kumarse Nazari, Mehran Patpour, Davinder Singh, Aladdin Hamwieh
Rust diseases in wheat are the major threat to wheat production and yield gains. The breakdown in resistance of certain major genes and new emerging aggressive races of rusts are causing serious concerns in all main wheat growing areas of the world. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to search for new sources of resistance genes or QTL's for effective utilization in future breeding programs. In total 100 wheat genotypes were evaluated for seedling and adult-plant resistance to stem rust races TKTTF and TTKSK at Tel Hadya-Syria, and Njoro-Kenya, and Kelardasht-Iran. Evaluation to Yr27 virulent stripe rust race was carried out at Tel Hadya and Terbol-Lebanon research stations. In this study we used genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify markers or QTLs linked to stem rust and stripe rust races using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT?) in selected 35 Iranian wheat genotypes. The association of markers and phenotypes was carried out using a unified mixed-model approach (MLM) as implemented in the genome association and prediction integrated tool (GAPIT). Out of 3,072 markers, 986 were polymorphic and used for marker trait associations. A total of 44 DArT markers were identified to be significantly (p<=0.01) associated with studied traits in 16 genomic regions 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 6A, 7A, 1B.1R, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 5B.7B, 6B, 7D and an unknown region. Among associated markers, 34 were linked to stem and nine to stripe rust. They were found on 16 genomic regions on chromosome arms 1A, 1B, 2A, 4A, 6A, 7A, 1B.1R, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 5B.7B, 6B, 7D and an unknown region. Associated markers explained phenotypic variation ranging from 21 to 65%. In addition to validation of previously identified genes, this study revealed new QTL's linked to stem and stripe rust which will assist breeders to develop new resistant varieties.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique INRA Morocco
Kumarse Nazari, David Hodson, Tine Thach, Julian Rodriguez Algaba, Mogens Støvring Hovmøller
Wheat rusts, notably yellow rust, are amongst the most damaging diseases on wheat in Morocco. The objective of this survey was to assess the incidence and severity of wheat rust diseases across Morocco. The survey was carried out during April-May 2017 where growth stage of wheat ranged from anthesis to physiological maturity. The severity and response rating for the adult plant field reaction to rusts were based on the modified Cobb scale. A total of 117 bread wheat fields were inspected. The survey revealed that the most prevalent disease was yellow rust (96 out of 117 fields). Leaf rust, SLD (Septoria Like Diseases) and to some extent root rot complex were less prevalent. Leaf rust was only observed in 8 out of 117 inspected fields and exhibited low severity. Stem rust was observed in only one field. Following the drought of 2016, the 2017 growing season was an epidemic year for yellow rust in Morocco. It was detected across all regions and 50% of inspected fields were highly infected. Those that were lightly or not infected were sprayed with fungicides up to two times. Almost all commercial bread wheat cultivars in Morocco are highly susceptible to yellow rust. Appearance of new virulent races is leading to the breakdown of resistance in major cultivars e.g., Arrihan, which had very few pustules of yellow rust in 2013 was highly susceptible in the last three years. Samples of yellow rust from 2016 revealed a new virulent race in all samples, temporarily designated Pst (new) [virulence pattern: [Yr-,2,3,-,-,6,7,8,9,-,-,17,-,25,-,32,Sp,AvS,-]. Thirty-four samples submitted to GRRC in 2017 were all of the same genotype, identical to the new race already detected in 2016. The results demonstrate that surveillance and genotyping/race phenotyping of samples may be important for early-warning and anticipatory breeding strategies.
Wheat Research Institute, AARI, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Ghulam Mahboob Subhani, Makhdoom Hussain, Mehvish Makhdoom
Rust is the single largest factor limiting wheat production in Pakistan. According to the FAO reports, countries in the predicted immediate pathway of Ug99 grow more than 65 million hectares of wheat, accounting for about 25% of global wheat harvest.
Rice, a member of the same family (Poaceae) is not attacked by any rusts. Wheat, an allo-hexaploid is responsive for wide crossing. It has previously been successfully crossed with its several wild relatives and different other crop species like corn, pearl millet etc. Based on the above facts wheat ? wild rice crossing has been attempted to incorporate rust resistance from rice to wheat. Successful crosses were made under in-vitro conditions. Surviving plantlets developed from these crosses were assayed for any genetic material introgressed from rice. Different cytological / molecular techniques were used to detect the introgression (Squash preparations from root tips, FISH, GISH, SSR etc.). Two hundred and fifty primers specific to rice chromatin were used to look for the introgression of rice chromatin into hybrids. Seven primers amplified the fragments in hybrids indicating the possible introgression of rice chromatin in wheat x rice hybrids but in-situ hybridization didn't confirm that introgression. So further testing of these hybrids is needed.
Emel Ozer, Mehmet Karaman, Mozaffar Roustaii, Jalal Kamali
Erratic weather patterns associated with climate change pose unique challenges for wheat breeders playing a key part in the fight to ensure global food security. Within the rainfed winter wheat areas of Turkey and Iran this erratic weather patterns may prevent attaining maximum potential increases in winter wheat genetic gains. This is primarily related with the fact that the ranking of tested varieties may greatly change from one year to the other. Erratic weather patterns may interfere with breeders decision on the ideotype(s) they should aim for during selection. To support breeding decisions, this study aimed at optimizing major traits through modelling different combinations of environments and defining probabilities of the range of variation of traits (phenology and pant height) that maximized grain yields. Optimal phenology was found to be highly related with the temperatures at which the winter wheat varieties were exposed at around heading time (20 days before and after heading). Specifically later winter wheat varieties were exposed to higher temperature both before and after heading and this exposure had a negative effect on grain filling duration and final grain yield. Finally, the use of at least five different wheat varieties in one production field (with different phenology and plant height) was compared to a field with monoculture to test for improved resilience. It was concluded that by selecting one best wheat variety in a wide range of environments it was possible to maximize grain yield and that using a set of diverse varieties was not beneficial.
INIA Uruguay and Dep. Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, US
Pierina Clerici, Richard Garcia, Fernando Pereira, Noelia Perez, Martin Quincke, Silvia German
Leaf rust (LR) and stem rust (SR) are threats to global wheat production and new races frequently overcome resistance genes deployed in wheat cultivars. Identification of new sources of resistance is a major goal for many pre-breeding programs. The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic basis of resistance to LR and SR in a diverse South American wheat panel. Molecular markers for known resistance genes and GBS were used to dissect genetic components. The wheat panel of 122 lines was characterized under field conditions at La Estanzuela Research Station, Uruguay, for disease severity (DS) to LR (2014 and 2015) and SR (2015), and LTN (leaf tip necrosis). Final DS for LR ranged between 0 and 95%, with mean values of 40% (2014) and 46% (2015). For SR, final DS ranged between 0 and 50%, with a mean value of 5%. The frequencies of positive diagnostic resistance markers among accessions were 20.5% for Lr34/Sr57, 6.6% for Lr68, 3.3% for Sr2/Lr27, 23% for Sr31/Lr26, 20.5% for Sr24/Lr24, 9.4% for Sr25/Lr19, and 0% for Sr39/Lr35. Of all the LR/SR resistance genes, only the effect of Lr68 was significant when predicting LR DS. Seventeen lines were identified with combinations of two genes, but no combination conferred a significantly improved level of resistance. Preliminary GWAS analysis for LR response on a subset of 86 lines revealed several QTLs, with a major QTL explained by Lr68. Lines with good levels of resistance to LR and SR, high expression of LTN, and absence of markers for the studied resistance genes were identified, indicating that there are other genes involved in resistance. Future research involving the testing of additional molecular markers for other known resistance genes, and a deeper GWAS analysis, will provide further information about the resistance genes present in this wheat panel.
Northwest A&F University
Xiaoguo Zhu, Zhensheng Kang
RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful genetic tool to accelerate research in plant biotechnology and to control biotic stresses by manipulating target gene expression. However, the potential of RNAi in wheat to efficiently and durably control the devastating stripe rust fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), remained largely under explored, so far. To address this issue, we generated transgenic wheat lines expressing double-stranded RNA targeting PsFUZ7 transcripts of Pst. We analyzed expression of PsFUZ7 and related genes, and resistance traits of these transgenic wheat lines. We show that PsFUZ7 is an important pathogenicity factor that regulates infection and development of Pst. A PsFUZ7 RNAi construct stably expressed in two independent transgenic lines of wheat confers strong resistance to Pst. Pst hyphal development is strongly restricted, and necrosis of cells in plant resistance responses was induced significantly. We conclude that trafficking of RNA molecules from wheat plants to Pst may lead to a complex molecular dialogue between wheat and the rust pathogen. Moreover, we confirm the RNAi-based crop protection approaches can be used as a novel control strategy against rust pathogens in wheat.
CREA Research Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics
,International Durum Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium
The domestication of wild emmer wheat ~10,000 years ago by early agrarian societies have led to the selection of domesticated emmer and subsequently of durum wheat through a process of selection for non-brittle rachis and free-threshing forms. Durum wheat and became established as a prominent crop only ~1,500-2,000 years ago. We have completed the 10.45 Gb assembly of the 14 chromosomes of the modern DW cultivar 'Svevo' and provides, via comparison with the wild emmer assembly, an account of the genome-wide modifications imposed by 10,000 years of selection and breeding on the genome architecture of tetraploid wheat. A number of regions that were under selection during the domestication of wild emmer or the subsequent selection of durum wheat have been identified. Furthermore, we have projected on the durum wheat genome about 1,500 QTLs for morphological phenological and quality traits, grain yield components and disease resistance reported from published biparental mapping or GWAS. NBS-LRR genes are prominently involved in signaling and plant disease resistance. The durum wheat genome contains more than 66,000 genes and among them we annotated about 1,500 complete NBS-LRR genes. A similar number was found in the wild emmer genomes, nevertheless the comparison of the two genomes has identified some NBS-LRR genes specific for durum wheat. The availability of the complete genome of durum wheat will speed up the identification and the isolation of new resistance genes as well as the breeding for high-yielding and more resilient cultivars.
Jamal El Haddoury, Ahmed Amri
Malika', a hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivar developed using doubled haploid technology by the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Morocco, and tested as 06DHBW48, was approved for release in 2016 by the Office National de S?curit? Sanitaire des Produits Alimentaires (ONSSA), Morocco. Malika was selected from the doubled haploids derived from the cross 'Achtar3*//'Kanz'/Ks85-8-4). Achtar and Kanz are Moroccan varieties originating from segregating populations from CIMMYT. Achtar and Kanz are a well adapted to Moroccan conditions but susceptible to the Hessian fly, yellow rusts and some races of leaf rust. 'Achtar' was crossed with it in order to incorporate the Hessian fly resistance, yellow rust resistance and leaf rust resistance and 'Achtar' was crossed with Kanz/Ks85-8-4 having resistance to Hessian fly, yellow rust and leaf rust. Backcrossed 3 times with 'Achtar', and selected lines having resistance to the Hessian fly, yellow rust and leaf rust from the population derived from each backcross. Finally the selected the resistant line was used develop doubled haploids. The doubled haploid lines produced were tested in the laboratory and field for Hessian fly and the rust resistance. The resistant lines were incorporated in the multi-local yield trials and three promising lines with the resistance to Hessian fly, yellow rust and leaf rust and better yield and quality were submitted for registration in the official catalog in 2014. After 2 years of testing (years 2014-15 and 2015-16), one line (06DHBW48) was accepted for the registration and designated as 'Malika'. 'Malika' is a semi-dwarf variety, well adapted to semi-arid regions, early maturing, high yielding, tolerant to drought and resistant to Hessian fly, leaf rust and yellow rust.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, Alberta
Gurcharn Brar, Randy Kutcher, Raman Dhariwal
Stripe rust of wheat, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is one of the most important diseases of wheat in western Canada. Although stripe rust was an issue in southern Alberta for many years, it became important in other parts of the country after a dramatic population shift in 2000, resulting from an invasive race. Sporadic epidemics of the disease are common and cause considerable loss, due to which, an intermediate level of resistance to stripe rust was required for new varietal registrations beginning 2017. Virulence surveys are of key importance in germplasm and cultivar development as they provide breeders and pathologists the information needed to better understand host-pathogen interactions and the effectiveness of Yr genes. Virulence characterization revealed a wide range of virulence phenotypes exhibited by 33 Pst races in western Canada, although only 2-3 races were predominant. The expression of Yr genes may differ between controlled conditions and natural field conditions as previously reported. Thus, stripe rust differentials and wheat cultivars grown in western Canada are also screened at multiple locations in every year. At present, all stage resistance genes Yr1, Yr4, Yr5, Yr15, Yr76, and YrSP are effective against the predominant Pst races, whereas at the adult stage under field conditions, Yr2, Yr17, Yr28, or those carried by Yamhill are also effective. Seedling resistance genes Yr7, Yr10, Yr17, or Yr27 were the most common in Canadian wheat cultivars. Of these, only Yr17 is effective under field conditions. Adult plant resistance genes Yr18 and Yr29 are carried by many cultivars, but are not effective under high disease pressure. The effectiveness of each resistance gene may vary between the eastern and western prairies of western Canada due to differences in virulence. Regular virulence surveys using contemporary and regional cultivars facilitate the development of rust resistant cultivars.