Following the introduction of wheat stripe rust into Australia in 1979, an uncharacterized resistance (YrA) was identified in both Australian and International spring wheats. Genetic analyses of YrA indicated it was a pair of complementary genes, which were mapped to chromosomes 3DL and 5BL and designated Yr73 and Yr74, respectively. While selection Avocet 'R' carries both genes, selection Avocet 'S' carries Yr73 only. P. triticina pathotype (pt.) 104-1,2,3,(6),(7),11 +Lr37 ("104-VPM"), first detected in Australia in 2002, most likely arose via mutation from pt. 104-1,2,3,(6),(7),11 ("104"), with added virulence for Lr37. Interestingly, while both pathotypes are avirulent on Lr13, 104-VPM shows a much lower Infection Type (IT, ";1") than pt. 104 ("X++3") on several genotypes carrying Lr13 (e.g.Avocet 'R', Avocet 'S'). Other Lr13 genotypes (e.g. cv. Hereward) respond similarly to both pts ("X++3"). Genetic analyses of 4 doubled haploid (DH) populations based on intercrosses between Avocet 'R' and genotypes lacking Lr13 segregated in a 1:7 ratio to pt. 104-VPM (";1" : all other ITs). Two populations fixed for Lr13 (viz. Hereward/ Avocet 'R' and Estica/Avocet 'R') segregated 1:3 to pt. 104-VPM (";1" : all other ITs). This segregation pattern fitted a model where two complementary genes interact with Lr13 to generate the low (IT ";1") IT. Mapping of a Teal/Avocet 'R' DH population using 92 lines and 9,035 DArT-Seq markers identified three QTLs: chromosome 2BS (Lr13); chromosome 3DL (co-located with Yr73); chromosome 1DS. These results suggest that Yr73 acts in a complementary manner with a gene on chromosome 1DS to confer leaf rust resistance (IT "X"), and that these complementary genes are additive with Lr13. It appears that Yr73 is a modifier of two independent genes in wheat, one conferring resistance to stripe rust (Yr74 on chromosome 5BL), and one conferring resistance to leaf rust (LrAv on chromosome 1DS).
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The concept of durable resistance was introduced by Dr Roy Johnson about 40 years ago, following a breakdown in the slow rusting or adult plant resistance of several English winter wheats to stripe rust, including Joss Cambier, and continued effectiveness of resistance in several other cultivars including Cappelle Desprez and Hybrid de Bersee. The resistance in the latter was referred to as durable, and durable resistance defined as “resistance that remains effective when a cultivar is grown widely in environments favouring disease development”. Durable resistance is a descriptive term; it does not provide any explanation of the causes underlying long lasting resistance. It does, however, contain two conceptual elements, one being that there may be any of several underlying causes for durable resistance and the other that resistance that has remained effective for a long period of widespread use may not necessarily continue to do so in the future. This paper will discuss the role of durable resistance in achieving sustained control of cereal rust diseases. In view of the complexity of host : pathogen interactions, genetic diversity must be seen as a key ingredient in large scale sustained control of plant diseases. It has been argued that even where specific or major resistance genes are used, genetic diversity can be used as insurance against lack of durability and hence as a means of reducing genetic vulnerability. Above all, responsible use of resistance genes depends upon an understanding of the resistance genes present in cultivars and breeding populations, and monitoring pathogen populations with respect to deployed resistances, are crucial in ensuring that the genetic bases of resistances are not narrowed.
Surveillance of wheat rust pathogens, including assessments of rust incidence and virulence characterization via either trap plots or race (pathotype) surveys, has provided information fundamental in formulating and adopting appropriate national and international policies, investments and strategies in plant protection, plant breeding, seed systems, and in rust pathogen research. Despite many successes from national and regional co-ordination of rust surveillance, few attempts were made to extend rust surveillance to international or even global levels. The Global Cereal Rust Monitoring System was established to address this deficiency. It is underpinned by an information platform that includes standardized protocols for methods and systems used in surveys, preliminary virulence testing, data, sample transmission and management at the field and national and global levels, and includes two web-based visualization tools. While considerable progress has been made towards a global system for monitoring variability in the wheat stem rust pathogen, and linking this to the threat posed by this pathogen to regional wheat production, some challenges remain, including ongoing commitment to support rust surveillance, and the ability to share and compare surveillance data.
Race (pathotype) surveys of cereal rust pathogens have been conducted in many parts of the world since the early 1900s. The only way to identify rust pathotypes remains virulence testing in greenhouse tests using genotypes (“differentials”) carrying different resistance genes. Virulence determinations have rarely targeted genes conferring adult plant resistance because of the technical difficulties of working with adult plants under controlled conditions. Where pathotype surveys have been conducted in a robust and relevant way, they have provided both information and pathogen isolates that underpinned rust control efforts, from gene discovery to post-release management of resistance resources. Information generated by pathotype surveys has been used to: devise breeding strategies; indicate the most relevant isolates for use in screening and breeding; define the distribution of virulence and virulence combinations; allow predictions of the effectiveness/ ineffectiveness of resistance genes; and issue advance warning to growers by identifying new pathotypes (both locally evolved and introduced) before they reach levels likely to cause significant economic damage. To be most effective, pathotype surveys should also provide fully characterized isolates (defined pathotypes) for use in identifying new sources of resistance and screening breeding material. Although constrained to some extent by a lack of markers, particularly those not subject to natural selection, surveys have also provided considerable insight into the dynamics of rust pathogen populations, including the evolution and maintenance of virulence, and migration pathways, including periodic long-distance migration events.