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Wheat landrace PI 177906 has seedling and field resistance to Pgt races TTKSK and TTKST. From a cross between PI 177906 and LMPG-6, 138 doubled haploid (DH) lines and 144 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were developed and tested for seedling resistance to Pgt race TTKSK. Goodness-of-fit tests from both populations indicated that two dominant genes in PI 177906 conditioned resistance to race TTKSK. Parents and the 138 DH lines were evaluated in the field in two experiments in Kenya; one in the main season and one in the off-season. The 90K wheat iSelect SNP genotyping platform was used to genotype the parents and DH lines and data were used to construct a genetic linkage map. Two loci for seedling resistance were mapped to chromosomes 2BL and 4BL. Two major QTL for field resistance mapped to the same regions, a 14.4 cM interval on 2BL and an 8.5 cM interval on 4BL. The QTL on 2BL and 4BL explained, respectively, 31.9-32.3% and 18.2-19.1% of the variation in the off-season and 28.3-30.4% and 5.4-6.5% of the variation in the main-season. Based on the mapping results, race specificity, and the seedling infection types, the resistance gene in 2BL could be Sr28, whereas the gene on chromosome 4BL could be novel. The mapping results will be verified in the RIL population using the flanking SNP markers in KASP assays.
Targeted breeding to develop high yielding wheat germplasm resistant to Ug99 and other rusts initiated at CIMMYT in 2006. Ug99 resistant materials, especially those with adult plant resistance (APR), were used in crossing. F3 and F4 populations from simple, BC1 and top crosses were grown for two generations under high rust pressures at Njoro, Kenya in a Mexico-Kenya shuttle breeding scheme. Parallel populations were also grown in Mexico for comparison. Approximately 5,000 advanced lines were tested for grain yield performance at Ciudad Obregon, Mexico in 2009/10 season, and phenotyped for resistance to Ug99 and other rusts. The 728 retained lines were evaluated for grain yield performance in five environments during the 2010/11 season in Mexico. About 68% of the 728 lines had nearimmune (16.5% entries) to adequate APR to Ug99. An additional 13.6% lines carried one of the six (Sr25, Sr26, SrTmp, SrHuw234, SrSha7, and an unidentified gene) race-specific resistance genes often in combination with APR gene Sr2. About 80% entries were highly resistant to yellow rust in Kenya and Mexico, and 90% entries to leaf rust in Mexico. Yield distribution of lines derived from Mexico-Kenya shuttle breeding was similar to lines selected only in Mexico. Sufficient lines with >5% superior yields than the Mexican checks varieties in 2 years testing were identified. Our results indicate that targeted crossing and shuttle breeding are powerful tools for a simultaneous improvement of grain yield potential and resistance to rusts.
Leaf rust represents the major threat to wheat production in Russia and Ukraine. It has been present for many years and epidemics occur in different regions on both winter and spring wheat. In some regions there is evidence of more frequent epidemics, probably due to higher precipitation as a result of climate change. There is evidence that the virulence of the leaf rust population in Ukraine and European Russia and on winter wheat and spring wheat is similar. The pathogen population structure in Western Siberia is also similar to the European part, although there are some significant differences based on the genes employed in different regions. Ukrainian wheat breeders mostly rely on major resistance genes from wide crosses and have succeeded in developing resistant varieties. The North Caucasus winter wheat breeding programs apply the strategy of deploying varieties with different types of resistance and genes. This approach resulted in decreased leaf rust incidence in the region. Genes Lr23 and Lr19 deployed in spring wheat in the Volga region were rapidly overcome by the pathogen. There are continuing efforts to incorporate resistance from wild species. The first leaf rust resistant spring wheat varieties released in Western Siberia possessed gene LrTR which protected the crop for 10-15 years, but was eventually broken in 2007. Slow rusting is being utilized in several breeding programs in Russia and Ukraine, but has not become a major strategy.
Stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, is a highly destructive fungal disease of wheat. This pathogen has been effectively controlled in western Canada through resistance since the 1950s. In 1999, a new highly virulent race of stem rust was identified in Uganda. The new strain, named “Ug99”, was given the North American race designation TTKSK. In situ screening has demonstrated that approximately 75% of Canadian wheat cultivars are susceptible to this new race of stem rust. Fortunately, two cultivars, Peace and AC Cadillac, were highly resistant to Ug99. A doubled haploid population was generated from the cross: RL6071/Peace, where RL6071 was the stem rust susceptible parent. In 2008, 189 DH lines from this population were evaluated for response to Ug99 in Kenya. RL6071 and Peace were rated: 80 S and 5 R, respectively. Disease ratings of the DH lines, ranged from 80 S to 1 R. Mendelian evaluation of the stem rust scores indicated a two-gene model (X2=5.51; 0.25<P<0.10; d.f.=3) of inheritance. Peace has the positive allele for the diagnostic Lr34 DNA marker (csLVMS1) published by Spielmeyer et al. (2008). It is believed that Peace carries Lr34 and that this gene may be one of the genes responsible for Ug99 resistance in this cultivar. Molecular mapping of the Ug99 resistance in cultivar Peace is underway.