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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.
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.
In recent years, wheat stem rust, caused by Puccinia graminis f.sp. tritici, has been reconsidered in Iran due to its prevalence and the emergence of the dangerous Ug99 race. This study was conducted to understand pathogenic variation in the population of P. graminis f.sp. tritici, detection of effective genes, and identification of resistance in Iranian commercial wheat cultivars or advanced lines, by planting stem rust trap nurseries under natural disease infection in several regions of Iran during the 2016-2017 cropping season. The trap nursery in each location included 48 wheat lines each carrying a single gene of stem rust (Sr) resistance, seven lines each carrying Sr multigenes, eight additional lines to confirm four Sr genes, 149 commercial wheat cultivars or advanced lines from Iran, plus several susceptible checks. The percentage leaf area affected (disease severity) and infection type were recorded at adult plant stage when disease was well developed on flag leaves of susceptible checks. Results showed presence of virulence for several Sr genes in one or more locations. However, the single genes of Sr13, Sr23, Sr24, and two complex genes of Sr7a+Sr6+Sr12 and Sr6+Sr24+Sr36+Sr1RS-Am were still effective against stem rust in all locations. The results of evaluations of commercial wheat cultivars or advanced lines showed that approximately 16% the genotypes tested including wheat cultivars Gonbad, Shiroudi, Chamran-2, Baharan, Dena, Karkheh, and Arya were resistant in all locations.
The basidiomycetous fungus, Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) causes stem rust disease as one of the most destructive wheat pathogens, worldwide. TTKSK and other Pgt races under Ug99 race group are considered as major threats to wheat production in east Africa and CWANA region by defeating the stem rust resistance gene Sr31, while its ineffectiveness was reported in Iran in 2007. Race TKTTF of Pgt caused a severe stem rust epidemic in southern Ethiopia in 2013, and was spread to Europe through 2016 Sicily outbreak. This research describes race identification of Iranian isolates collected during the widespread distribution of stem rust in 2014-16. Purified urediniospores of 123 Pgt isolates were separately inoculated on seedlings of 20 North American differential wheat cultivars carrying different Sr resistance gene/s. Infection types were recorded at 14 days post inoculation (dpi) using Stakman et al. 0-4 scale. Based on the letter code nomenclature, we identified the Pgt races TKTTF, TTTTF, TTKSK, TTKTK, PKTTF, TKSTF, PKSTF, PKTTC, PTRTF, PTTTF, PKSTC, TTRTF, TKSTC and PKRTF in Iran. TKTTF and TTTTF were determined as prevalent Iranian Pgt races. This is the first report of race TTKTK, a new variant of Ug99 race group with virulence on Sr31 and SrTmp resistance genes, in Iran. Since TTKTK primarily occurred in south west of Iran, the migration route for this new race seems to be similar to race TTKSK. The high race variation observed in this study could indicate a high genetic diversity among P. graminis f. sp. tritici populations in Iran, as a wheat center of origin.
Stem rust is a potentially destructive fungal disease of wheat worldwide. In 1998 Pgt pathotype TTKSK virulent to Sr31 was detected in Uganda. The same pathotype was confirmed in Lorestan and Hamedan provinces of Iran in 2007. We used a derivative of race TTKSK to phenotype 62 Iranian wheat landraces (resistant to stripe rust in a previous study) at the seedling stage to this new pathotype (TTSSK). Twenty eight accessions were evaluated for the presence of resistance genes Sr2, Sr22, Sr24, Sr25, Sr26, Sr35, Sr36 and Srweb using SSR markers. None carried Sr2, Sr24 or Sr26, but the presence of Sr22, Sr25, Sr35 and Sr36 was indicated. Some susceptible landraces predicted to carry Sr2 by marker analysis require further investigation. To evaluate defense gene expression in compatible and incompatible stem rust interactions we sampled resistant and susceptible cultivars at 0, 12, 18, 24, 72 hours post-inoculation (hpi). ?-1,3 glucanase expression was studied using qGLU-S and qGLUU-AS primers and a real-time PCR step-one ABI machine, with ?-tubulin and EF1-? genes used as internal controls. In incompatible interactions defense gene expression was increased at 24 hpi, but in compatible interactions the highest level of expression occurred at 12 hpi and was significantly decreased at 18 hpi. The results revealed that expression of defense genes such as ?-1,3 glucanase was earlier in compatible than in incompatible interactions but the expression level was less in incompatible interactions. On the other hand, in susceptible genotypes the expression of defense genes increased immediately after inoculation and declined sharply after infection. In contrast defense gene expression in resistant genotypes began to increase after establishment of the pathogen.
Stem (black) rust is a potentially important disease in northern, western and southern Iran. A new Pgt race with virulence to gene Sr31 appeared in Iran in 2007. Similar races have spread in Africa and some CWANA countries. In 2014 stem rust was widespread in western, northern, northwestern and central Iran, but at low severities. Thirty-nine stem rust samples were collected for race analysis. After purification and increase each isolate was inoculated to a set of 20 North American differentials in the greenhouse. Infection types were recorded 12-14 days after inoculation using the scale described by McIntosh et al. (1995, Wheat Rusts: An Atlas of Resistance Genes, CSIRO, East Melbourne, Australia). Races TKSTC (59%), TKTTC (20%), TTTTC, KTTSK (virulent on plants with Sr31), TTSTC, PTTTF and TTTTF were detected. Race TKSTC was common in western, northwestern and central Iran. Except for avirulence to Sr17 this race is similar to the race (TKTT) that caused a stem rust epidemic in Ethiopia in 2013.