Preliminary investigations on the genetic relationship of adult plant resistance to wheat rusts in COPIO
The rapid appearance of new races of rust pathogens with virulence for the major seedling resistance genes in wheat has intensified the focus to discover adult plant resistance (APR) genes in wheat and utilize them in breeding programs for sustainable wheat production. The experimental breeding line 'Copio' developed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Mexico has exhibited high levels of APR to all three rusts including the African stem rust Ug99 race group. To dissect the mechanism of APR in Copio it was crossed with APAV#1, which is susceptible to all three rusts and a population of 176 F4:F5 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was developed at CIMMYT. Both parental lines were found to be susceptible (IT >3) at the seedling stage to races TTKSK and TKTTF, which ensures the field data from Africa will be applicable for APR mapping. Seedling tests were also conducted on the RIL population using the predominant Pakistani race RRTTF, and Chi-squared tests indicated segregation of two stem rust seedling genes (?2 test P value of 0.00002). Both parents were also tested for the known APR genes Lr34/Yr18/Sr57, Lr46/Yr29/Sr58, Lr67/Yr46/Sr55 and Sr2/Yr30 using molecular markers and results indicate that APAV#1 does not carry any known APR genes, while Copio might have Lr46 and Sr2. This population was tested in four field environments (US, Pakistan, Mexico, and Kenya) for leaf, stem and yellow rusts during 2015-16 and 2016-17. Disease severity distributions of all three rusts for the RILs across all environments were continuous, suggestive of quantitative and polygenic resistance.
We are using genotyping by sequencing (GBS) as a genotyping platform and anticipate having preliminary mapping results available by spring 2018.